Smart Communications Survey Reveals Enterprises Risk Losing Customers If They Don’t Communicate Effectively

Results Indicate 63 Percent are Likely to Switch Vendors if Expectations Aren’t Met

Smart Communications, the leading cloud-based platform for enterprise customer communications, announces the results of a commissioned survey analyzing consumer opinions about the current state of communications delivered by financial services, insurance and healthcare companies. Key among the findings is the discovery that 63 percent of customers are likely to switch vendors that do not meet their expectations. Even more telling, companies are putting themselves at risk if they don’t consider recent customer interactions when developing new communications. Smart commissioned Harris Interactive to survey 500 consumers in the UK and US. The study occurred in June 2018.

Almost one-third say incorporating recent interactions is critical.

When asked to identify specific criteria that might influence a decision to change vendors, a failure to incorporate recent interactions stood out, with about 30 percent of respondents indicating this could be a deciding factor. Unfortunately, this same communications criterion fell to the bottom of the list when asked about which communications elements companies are doing especially well, creating a clear opportunity for companies today.

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The following criteria stood out in terms of influencing a decision to make a vendor change.

  • Communications that contain errors (59% of UK consumers, 50% of US consumers)
  • Communications that are not easy to understand (50% of UK consumers, 48% of US consumers)
  • Communications that are not relevant (45% of UK consumers, 32% of US consumers)
  • Communications not sent at the right time (36% of UK consumers, 37% of US consumers)
  • Communications that do not consider recent interactions (32% of UK consumers, 29% of US consumers) Enterprises need to pay particularly close attention to these data points.

“It is not surprising that customers have high expectations for the communications they receive from businesses, nor that they will express their displeasure by taking their business elsewhere,” said James Brown, CEO of Smart Communications. “The good news is that much of the feedback we received indicated there are a lot of things companies are already doing well, and with more of them now embracing a shift toward more modern customer communications platforms we expect this evolution to continue.”

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Half of consumers surveyed were positive about communications.

Half of consumers surveyed felt that financial services and insurance companies are already delivering communications that are relevant to their needs. Additionally, financial services firms are similarly doing a good job of ensuring that messages are error free and easy to understand. Across all three industries, more than a third were given high marks for delivering messages at the right time.

Nearly two-thirds of US consumers would share data for more personalization.

To continue making communications as personalized and relevant as possible, companies need to know about each recipient as an individual. While technology now allows for the collection of a tremendous amount of customer data, more stringent privacy laws are putting greater control over this data back into consumers’ hands. To entice them to share the personal details necessary to make communications as meaningful as possible, companies must first prove that it will be worth it. Sixty-one percent of US consumers stated they would be willing to share more data with a company if it demonstrated the use of data to make communications more meaningful, and 48 percent of UK consumers agreed.

“Consumers are very clear about how they expect companies to communicate with them, and if enterprises are willing to listen they can reap tremendous benefits,” Brown added. “If they don’t, they may not be given a second chance, which can be quite costly. This is why it is so important to select and integrate tools that allow for comprehensive data collection, complete views of the customer and the delivery of more meaningful conversations.”

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