Two-in-five consumers would consider switching to another retailer after two bad experiences with a brand. 

That is among the findings of a study by customer engagement software firm Thunderhead, which surveyed 4,000 consumers in the UK and US to uncover what consumers today expect of brand experiences in banking, auto, insurance, telco, energy, and retail.

The survey found that two-in-five consumers (38 percent) had already taken action and stopped buying from a brand altogether as a result of a bad experience in the last year.

These poor experiences are having a damaging impact on brands, resulting in declining customer loyalty, with 19 percent stating that their trust in the brand would be lost forever. This in turn, is causing a much wider domino effect, with four out of five (82 percent) dissatisfied consumers turning to social media to share their frustrations. Of these, 20 percent said they’d go on to share these experiences with more than five people.

These issues are a direct result of the challenge brands face in delivering seamless experiences, with almost all consumers (94 percent) claiming to be frustrated by disjointed encounters. With almost one third (31 percent) still regarding their interactions with brands as merely transactional, there is clearly more that brands can do to build personal and memorable experiences.

Moreover, the research unearths the gap between what consumers expect versus the experience that brands are actually providing today. Although three quarters (75 percent) of consumers agree that their expectations have increased in recent years, just two-in-five (40 percent) believe that their experiences are actually improving.

As a plea to brands to shape up, one-in-three (35 percent) consumers said they would be willing to pay more for a seamless online experience, highlighting a significant opportunity for brands that manage to get this right.

Thunderhead CEO Jason Hemingway said: “Leading Customer Experience surveys published over the last few years paint a consistently sad picture of stagnating CX, across all industry sectors. While brands pay lip service to the importance of Customer Experience and engagement, most are struggling to deliver the level of experience that customers expect.

“Brands need to make the transition to the new era of engagement-led marketing, based on nurturing relationships with customers and focusing on lifetime customer value. It’s time for brands and marketers to look with fresh eyes at how they can build experiences and deliver the level of engagement that customers today expect.”

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