Online and digital technology is increasingly pervasive, affecting all aspects of our lives in many ways, changing the way we buy, the way we access information on the move and the way we communicate with each other and with businesses.
Recent evidence suggests the rise of the ‘multi-channel’ consumer has led to a dramatic and strategic shift in their expectations and a more demanding customer, in what we are terming the emergence of the ‘now culture’.
In 2003 the proportion of people who were angry about service stood at 15%, rising to 17% by 2006 before accelerating sharply in the last five years to 27%. This major new project will explain how to engage customers more effectively in a technology-driven, multi-channel world.
Today and in the future, brand perception is set and influenced through many different moments of truth. The complex array of communication channels continues to accelerate, driving down costs but also increasing the complexity of management. Every contact (service or marketing) influences customer perception. This project will define the contacts which have the most impact and the greatest Return On Investment (ROI).
All funding partners can input into the objectives and design of the research.
1. Understand how communication channels are used by customers. The study will consider marketing communications and customer service interactions. By channel we mean email, post, telephone, social media, web chat, print and text.
2. Explain which media channels are the most influential in building brand perception.
· Do certain marketing channels create more trust in a brand than others? Are some channels better at engaging certain groups of customers than others?
· What is the optimum mix of marketing channels for generating the highest brand engagement with each group of customers?
3. Understand how customers use channels for communicating with companies for customer service interactions.
· To what extent are customers ‘channel agnostic’ or are they tied to particular channels? Do they really have a ‘preference’ for using a specific channel?
· Explain how different groups of consumers use channels. Are there some consumers who use fewer channels than others? Who are the ‘single channel’ users and the ‘multi-channel’ users?
· Understand the emotional influence that each type of service interaction has on brand perception.
· Help organisations understand how to measure ROI on interaction management, comparing brand engagement for each channel, rather than purely cost.
4. Create a new consumer segmentation based on channel behaviour and preferences.
5. How do customers preferences for using channels change, depending on circumstances, situation or sector?
6. How is channel behaviour likely to change in the future? What are the implications for organisations? How will it impact structure, training, systems and costs?