Happy Friday! ‘This week in CX’ brings you the latest roundup of industry news.

This week, we’re looking at consumer time spent on brand admin, and new insights on consumers’ perceptions of personalisation.

Key news

  • Gartner, Inc. identified the top data and analytics (D&A) trends for 2024 that are driving the emergence of a wide range of challenges, including organisational and human issues. As AI continues to revolutionise industries on a strategic level, D&A leaders must demonstrate a bet-the-business skill set on AI and earn trust to lead the AI strategy within the enterprise. D&A leaders need to embrace complexity by using AI-enabled tools to automate and improve productivity. Lack of trust within organisations, concerns about the value and quality of data, and regulations around AI are leading to a deluge of distrust.
  • 61% of organisations are forced to evolve or rethink their data and analytics (D&A) operating model because of the impact of disruptive artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, according to a new Gartner, Inc. survey.
  • Faced with rising prices and more subscriptions to choose from, two-thirds of music streamers (66%) say they can no longer afford all of their subscriptions. That’s according to newly released research from Bango, which surveyed over 2,000 music streaming service users in the USA. The news comes following multiple price increases across music platforms last year, with major players announcing further price hikes in the coming months. As a result, many subscribers must pick and choose between streaming TV, music, gaming and other subscriptions, with 60% having canceled at least one subscription to afford the rising prices. More than a third (39%) have also downgraded at least one of their subscriptions to a cheaper, ad-funded tier to save on costs.

Commentary news

With the two May Bank Holidays quickly approaching, and a likelihood of increased sales activity during this time, retailers must ensure that their websites are optimised and resilient enough to provide a seamless customer journey, even when faced with a sudden influx of website traffic.

“If the Easter bank holiday 3.5% boost in sales is anything to go by, retailers should expect an uptick in sales during the May bank holidays. To meet demand, it is imperative that retailers prioritise maintaining a seamless customer experience.  

The purchasing experience no longer begins when a customer receives an item, it starts right from browsing. The moment a potential customer lands on the website, it needs to serve them immediately. When website traffic peaks, even the smallest delays, glitches, or complex processes can result in frustration and an abandoned cart. To ensure preparedness, retailers should adopt autonomous bandwidth scaling capabilities embedded into their website infrastructure.  

Bandwidth scaling means that when there is a surge, the system adjusts its capacity to meet demand, and once the peak shopping period subsides, it automatically reduces its scale to conserve resources. This solution allows retailers to focus on making sales and supporting customers, with peace of mind that their website is performing at optimum level, without a surge in cost.” 

Suhaib Zaheer, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Cloudways

Consumers spend 1.5 days a year on brand admin, and lose almost £100 annually by abandoning such tasks

Over half of consumers (54%) have lost their patience or become emotional (47%) with brands wasting their time, and 37% now expect companies to use AI to deliver more efficient services. That’s according to new research from Twilio.

While mundane household tasks, like cleaning, food shopping, and meal prepping, regularly test our patience, almost half of Brits (49%) also consider brand admin (or ‘brandmin’) – i.e. tasks to manage their accounts or interactions with brands – to be a significant chore. 

With UK consumers spending a whopping 45 minutes a week on average on such tasks, amounting to over 1.5 days a year, it’s no surprise that 47% of consumers see brand admin as an unnecessary time drain. It’s even resulted in many giving up on ‘brandmin’ tasks entirely, with Brits having lost an average of £95 each in the last year at their expense. This amounts to a whopping £3 billion collectively lost by UK consumers.

However, the research also found that streamlined customer engagement could benefit businesses as much as consumers, with 22% of respondents saying they would likely use any time saved to browse more products and services. It highlighted a significant opportunity for brands to create more positive interactions with their consumers during the touchpoints they have, instead of burdening them with unwanted tasks.

‘Brandmin’ time drains

When asked what types of ‘brandmin’ are the most irritating, consumers ranked the following as the most arduous experiences: 

  • Being put on hold (43%)
  • Being passed around departments or incorrectly transferred (43%)
  • Lengthy resolution processes (27%)
  • Multi-factor authentication (25%)
  • Complicated returns processes (22%) 

Lack of choice also played into customer dissatisfaction, with Brits being forced into interactions on channels they don’t want to use (18%), or having to reach out at inconvenient times (19%). 

A customer deal breaker

Such inconveniences often result in consumers giving up entirely on their ‘brandmin’ chores. Indeed, in the past 12 months, consumers have dropped a task or issue entirely due to communications taking up too much time (33%), or it being a frustrating experience for them (34%). A quarter (25%) even say they’ve ended up paying more, or lost money, by not following up on a ‘brandmin’ task. In fact, UK consumers report to have lost £95 on average a year by not completing such chores.

Inefficient interactions are also impacting brand loyalty. Brits report the following knock on effects: 

  • Taking their business elsewhere (36%)
  • Brands going down in their estimations (34%)
  • Complaining about it to friends and family (28%)
  • Seeing the brand as having incompetent customer service capabilities (28%)
  • Viewing the brand as not valuing them or their time (27%)

Better to be loved than needed when driving consumer engagement

Epsilon released the findings of its study on consumers’ perceptions of personalisation in marketing and advertising. The report, The Push and Pull of Personalisation, reveals that consumers’ feelings about a brand, more than need, drive stronger engagement with marketing.

The study found that 60% of respondents engage with a marketing message because they are “familiar with and like the brand” while 56% interact because they want to know more about a new brand or product. By comparison, 37% of respondents indicated their engagement is driven by need.

The report, which includes responses from 600 consumers between 18 and 65 years of age, goes on to reveal several insights into how marketing can be helpful and additive for consumers, or when it may detract from the brand experience.

Additional key findings from the study include:

  • Brands are getting better at personalised advertising, but there’s room to grow: 65% of respondents say brands have become better at personalising advertising and marketing in the past few years, but 91% see at least one irrelevant ad every single day.
  • People have a negative reaction when advertising messages don’t know them: 76% of respondents say they view brands negatively when they include inaccurate information about them in their advertising and messaging.
  • Consumers don’t feel in control of their advertising and marketing: Only 45% of respondents feel they have some control over how brands engage with them.

Thanks for tuning into CXM’s weekly roundup of industry news. Check back next Friday for the latest updates of the week!

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