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

This week, we’re looking at the rise in digital wallets, the huge shift in the world of marketing, and how customer service is at a breaking point.

Key news

  • The ‘This Week in CX’ newsletter on LinkedIn hit a new milestone of 10,000 followers this past week! Thank you all so much for your engagement with CXM’s weekly news share and for your drive to stay updated with the latest CX news week by week. We’re excited to keep growing and keeping you informed.
  • The number of nuisance calls and texts reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) dropped by 57% in 2022, Quadient found . The ICO received 56,015 complaints about nuisance calls and texts in 2022. This is less than half the 131,491 received in 2021, and fewer than in any year since 2019. Overall, there were 32,317 complaints about live calls (down 35%), 13,790 about automated calls (down 74%) and 9,908 relating to SMS text messages (down 57%). 
  • By 2026, 20% of inbound customer service contact volume will come from machine customers, according to Gartner.
  • Google is toughening up its hybrid work policy, telling its employees that it will crack down on those who haven’t been coming into the office three times per week. According to internal memos viewed by both CNBC and the Wall Street Journal, Google will now track how often employees badge in and include in-person attendance in employees’ performance reviews. It will also send reminders to employees with frequent absences. 
  • Airlines are unlikely to meet net zero targets by 2050 without a reduction in demand for flights, research from Bain & Company has suggested. The firm’s study found that while airlines could cut their emissions by 70% between now and mid-century, the industry is unlikely to achieve net zero by then. Bain & Company said it expected airlines would start increasing ticket prices by 2026 in order to fund decarbonisation efforts. The International Air Transport Association has said that international air fares are likely to increase over the next 10-15 years as carriers look to increasingly use sustainable fuels.

Half of UK consumers have ditched their physical wallet for their phone

50% UK shoppers say they no longer need a physical wallet or purse, swapping it for a digital wallet on their phone. That’s according to new research from SAP Emarsys.

The study of 2,003 UK consumers suggests that the adoption of the mobile wallet is a generational change in the UK. 67% of shoppers who make purchases via their mobile wallet aged 18-24 are comfortable without a physical wallet, compared to just 37% of those over 45. This generational difference appears to be driven by the loyalty benefits offered by mobile wallets. 93% of consumers are using a mobile wallet-based loyalty programme.

Key cited benefits for those who purchase items using digital discounts or coupons include: 

  • keeping discount codes organised (25%)
  • the speed of purchase compared to paper counterparts (31%)
  • the ease with which you can check your savings (32%).

For those that don’t yet use mobile loyalty cards, the #1 reason is that they aren’t loyal enough to any one brand to justify adopting them. With previous research** from Emarsys finding the cost-of-living crisis saw 56% of consumers switch from a brand they were loyal to  save money and 19% of consumers feel they could “no longer afford to be loyal”, so brands need to find the ‘value exchange’ that motivates customers to commit to a brand in that sense again.

“Today’s savvy consumers won’t tolerate poor experiences or rewards that miss the mark. Earning their loyalty means deeply understanding what each individual values and delivering it at precisely the right time on the channel they prefer,” 

-Kelsey Jones, Global Head of Product Marketing at SAP Emarsys. 

70% of marketers are making vital decisions alone

The world of marketing is undergoing a significant shift, leaving seven in ten marketers to navigate crucial decisions in isolation. This is revealed by a groundbreaking report by Nielsen for HubSpot and LinkedIn. 

Titled “Defining the Future of Marketing in EMEA,” the report delves into the perspectives of over 700 senior professionals in the UK and Ireland. Its findings expose a concerning consensus among industry leaders. The once dynamic and collaborative nature of marketing has faded, giving way to a solitary decision-making process that hinders growth and innovation.

The study identifies the great reshuffle as a key catalyst for these changes, with job transitions causing prolonged sales cycles and lower win rates. In the past year, as marketers have faced mounting pressure to perform, the lack of resources and time constraints have made it challenging to build a full-funnel marketing strategy –which is the need of the hour for brands to stay top of mind.

The report further highlights that nearly 90% of sales and marketing leaders acknowledge that collaboration between these teams is vital for driving critical business growth. Surprisingly, however, three in five marketing decision makers currently rely solely on consumer-based software vendors, while one in five lean on advertising, sales, or finance departments.

“We’ll see rapid growth in the use of artificial intelligence in the next few years, so there has never been a more crucial time for marketers to make informed decisions and be connected to the rest of the business. Marketing leadership needs to garner a much deeper understanding of what’s working, what’s not, and what to expect in the next few years. Being plugged in across the organisation will help them understand the industry trends and how they affect key strategic decisions.”

-Julie Lock, UK and Ireland Marketing Director at HubSpot

Consumers say they’d rather get a cavity filled, burn their mouths on hot coffee, and even plunge a toilet than engage with customer service   

Customer service is at a breaking point. A staggering 90% of consumers say CX is as important as a company’s products or service. Yet companies routinely miss the mark, aggravating customers in the process. Frustrated callers frequently raise their voices at overwhelmed agents. The angriest among them speak of exacting revenge when they can’t resolve their problems. Some consumers have given up entirely, outsourcing the labour of calling customer service to “Karens for Hire.” 

To understand the state of CX in 2023, Interactions surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers. The March 2023 report, CX and the Consumer: Pitfalls and Possibilities, reveals where customer service currently falls short and how companies can course-correct.

The survey results are stark, with 76% of those surveyed expecting to receive better CX than they get today. More than half (55%) say customer service is deteriorating. 

Last year, about half of consumers say they became vocally angry while communicating with customer service and about one-third of consumers admit to swearing during a customer service call—both to humans and automated digital attendants alike. 

Given the choice, many consumers would prefer doing the following instead of engaging with customer service:

  • 38% would rather get a cavity filled
  • 37% would rather plunge a toilet
  • 32% would rather take the SATs again
  • 28% would rather burn their mouths on hot coffee

Today’s customer service has become so painful that avoiding it crosses a proverbial red line, and 42% of respondents would rather attend “a meeting that could have been an email.”

The vast majority of consumers (69%) value having digital technology such as virtual assistants and chatbots to help them reach resolutions easily and through self-service. Half (49%) of respondents say being able to communicate with companies in “natural language” is a key benefit instead of using rigid, automated phone trees or chatbots with limited vocabularies. Overall, the blend of self-service technology and humans in the loop as-needed provides the most value to consumers.

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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