Symend’s Recent Research Shows How Consumer Repayment and Engagement Behavior Is Changing Post-COVID
Symend’s first-of-its-kind report sheds light on the state of consumer expectations around digital transformation, the impact of digital fatigue on bill payment, the evolution of spending priorities and consumer bill prioritization
Symend, a leading digital engagement platform that uses behavioral science and data-driven insights to empower customers at all points of the customer journey including resolving past due bills, today released its first-of-its-kind report on the future of customer engagement post-COVID. The in-depth study reveals the underlying perceptions and attitudes behind changing behavior and the impact on engagement and repayment patterns, along with recommendations from Ph.D. behavioral scientists and industry experts.
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Symend recently conducted the study with 2,000 consumers across the United States and Canada, all of whom have primary or shared responsibility for household bills. The report was also shaped by Symend’s insights from engaging and treating millions of customers, survey and web testing data from Symend’s Engagement Science Lab and market research and insights from thought leaders in customer engagement, including Salesforce and McKinsey.
“Engagement and repayment patterns are shifting significantly, and these changing behaviors are here to stay,” says Hanif Joshaghani, Co-Founder and CEO of Symend, “Preparing for the post-COVID future isn’t just possible, it’s crucial. The financial wellness of consumers depends on it.”
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As telecommunications, financial services, and utilities continue to adapt to shifting expectations in a post-COVID world, Symend’s report reveals new insights that will shape the future of customer engagement:
- Consumer expectations are accelerating the need for digital transformation:
Digital adoption is accelerating even faster across telecommunications, financial services, and utility providers, with 42% indicating they use their provider’s digital tools significantly more than before COVID-19.
- Digital fatigue is reinforcing the need for personalization:
Digital fatigue is being felt by most people, regardless of whether they are behind on bills. Consumers are content-saturated and, as a result, 39% are ignoring communications and missing payments more than ever before.
- Spending priorities have evolved and vary based on income and savings:
While fixed expenses, such as mortgages, rent, and utilities, remain a top priority, there are signs of post-pandemic spending behavior in the priorities indicated by Symend’s survey respondents. Low to middle-income respondents are prioritizing bill payments, while also prioritizing savings even though 17% of respondents with an annual income of less than $99,999 are behind on bills. High-income respondents are prioritizing spending on higher ticket items, such as travel and entertainment, with a significant focus on home improvements.
- Consumers are prioritizing bills to make ends meet:
57% of Symend’s survey respondents indicate that they plan to use their credit cards to manage their financial obligations. Symend expects that a significant driver behind increased credit card usage is the need to delay cancellations and suspensions of other bills, such as utilities and telecommunications.
On September 15, Symend is hosting a webinar to prepare for the future of customer engagement post-COVID featuring an expert panel: Christian Thilmany, Senior Director of AI Strategy and Industry at Microsoft, Patrick Pichette, Partner at Inovia Capital and former CFO at Google, and Alison Doyle, Ph.D., PMP Senior Behavioral Scientist at Symend.
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