Consumers ‘underwhelmed by brand experience’

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The first Customer Experience Index from Forrester specifically focused on the UK has found that many consumers are underwhelmed by their experience with brands, suggesting more focus needs to be placed on developing these relationships if companies are to form long-lasting bonds with people.

Just six brands, all retailers, achieved a score of 75 or higher (suggesting that the overall customer experience was ‘good’). None managed to get above 85, which would represent an ‘excellent’ rating from the respondent.

Amazon came out on top with a score of 81, followed by the likes of Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Debenhams, reports Marketing Week.

Joana van den Brink-Quintanilha, senior analyst of customer experience at Forrester, believes retail performed better than other sectors because Amazon has forced other companies in that industry to up their game if they wish to compete effectively.

Mobile telecoms and TV service providers came bottom of the survey, meaning they have a great deal to do when it comes to engaging with customers. CRM and other software can help with this, although in some cases the problems may be attitudinal rather than technological.

“Lots of companies are still in ‘repair’ mode, focusing on how to fix broken experiences. Companies that excel in customer experience have moved on and are looking at ways to innovate and differentiate to provide services that customers haven’t even thought of,” Ms  Brink-Quintanilha told the news provider.

Although marketing can play a crucial role in improving the consumer experience, it needs to be focused and relevant if it is to rise beyond being a nuisance to create engagement.

“When marketing is disconnected from the things that matter most to customers, they will continue to be frustrated because their basic needs haven’t been met,” concluded the expert.

With the economic squeeze making the fight for new consumers increasingly competitive, companies will need to step up to the plate when it comes to engagement of this kind over the coming years.