thunderhead_logo_2011.gif
It may not surprise you to learn that a majority of company communications is failing its customers. A recent study from enterprise software provider Thunderhead carried out by YouGov, revealed a general dissatisfaction with the relevance of the communications they receive from service providers.

Broken Company Connections

The Disconnected Customer surveyed more than 6,000 British and American consumers about their engagement with various service providers and found that many providers failed to consistently recognize the specific preferences of the customers, were inflexible in the way they sent information and were unwilling to meet the general needs of users.

Thunderhead: Disconnected Customer from ThunderheadOn on Vimeo.

While there was general dissatisfaction across sectors, some fared better than others. In the United States, for example, only 40% of banking customers think providers consistently ignore consumer preference for communication and send materials through the provider’s preferred channel instead, compared to cable providers, where the percentage was much higher (57%).

In the United Kingdom, cable providers also received unfavorable rankings when it comes to how well targeted customers perceived their marketing materials to be. Cable ranked the highest at 72%, while only 49% believed the same about mobile providers.

More Positive Customer Engagement, Please

Regardless of the industry, though, it’s very clear that companies can be doing more to provide positive customer engagement. Whether it’s personalized communications or having more face time with customers, companies are encouraged to do more so as to appeal to the wants, needs and desires of their users. A little goes along way, too.

According to the research, not many consumers are even asked for their preferences regarding the way they would like to receive bills, statements or policy information. In the US, only 31% said that they were asked, while in the UK, 60% said that their service provider communicates with them on its terms, rather than theirs.

Having a company appeal to your individuality, rather than your demographic also helps people engage better. In Britain, 59% indicated that they are not marketed to as an individual, while 31% said they would recommend a service provider if they were treated as an individual.

In the US, apologies are meaningful. Sixty-five percent of respondents would be willing to go back to a service provider after a negative experience, if they received an apology.

The research is clear that the way an organization engages with its customers can influence its ability to build brand advocacy and customer loyalty. Companies of all types are encouraged developing multi-channel communication engagement strategies so that they can provide improved customer engagement across preferred channels.