NEWS2 November 2017

Customers are ‘less tolerant’ and more demanding of brands, finds study

Energy Finance News Retail Trends UK

UK – New research on the attitudes, expectations and behaviours of customers towards brands has found that ‘post-digital’ customers are less tolerant of poor customer service and expect more from their interactions with companies.

Mobile with stars indicating customer experience rating

The study of 5,000 customers, conducted by customer consultancy Quadrangle and previewed at today’s Customer Summit held by the Market Research Society (MRS) in London, found that over half of customers ( 58%) don’t wait for annual renewals to switch providers.

Instead, customers look for value all the time on purchases such as insurance and expenses such as household bills.

It also found that 48% of participants said they switch brands to try something different, and when customer tolerance is tested, 45% turn to social media channels (Facebook or  Twitter) to complain.

While a third of respondents ( 35%) don't see the value in high street stores, 31% still feel the internet is not a trusted source of information. 

The study combined ethnography, journalism, film and in-home interviews, during which participants were asked how they think, feel and talk about being ‘customers’.

The report concluded that customers have higher expectations of getting something back in return for their business, are less tolerant of poor customer service and have a far stronger feeling of control over brands because they can switch so easily.

Ben Skelton, managing partner at Quadrangle, said: “Customers living in a post-digital age, are customers taking digital for granted. They are integrating social, mobile connectivity and technology into their everyday routine, often without realising. And they are less tolerant, more promiscuous and more demanding.”

Jane Frost CBE, chief executive of MRS, added: “This research reveals how customers are now more digitally adept and less loyal than ever before. Brands have to evolve in order to survive. The results of the research pose an interesting challenge to all brands about the need for flexibility in this post-certain world.”