happy _customer

Seventy-six percent of UK consumers say having a positive customer experience with a brand is more important than the product itself, according to the results of a new Harris Poll study of 1,000 UK adults, commissioned by Lithium Technologies.

The survey also found that consumers are willing to spend a quarter of their disposable income – £50 per month – with brands they love based on great customer experience. That’s over £2.5 billion up for grabs every month to brands who make their customers happy.

British Consumers Value Experience Over Quality

Brands work relentlessly on product design and features, but today’s consumer increasingly values how a brand treats them as more important than the product they actually sell. The study found that 41 percent of consumers would rather buy an inferior product from a brand that they had a great experience with, and 68 percent would be willing to spend more on a product if it was from a brand they love.But this works both ways, with 76 percent unlikely to ever use a brand again after only one bad experience. Worse, 57 percent would actively share their negative experience with friends and family, potentially, leading more customers to flee.

“Customers’ increasingly high expectations of brands have reached a critical point,” said Rob Tarkoff, president and CEO of Lithium Technologies. “When three-quarters of consumers say they are unwilling to stick with a brand that has treated them badly even if they love the brand’s products, it’s time to sit up and take notice. Brands need to dig deeper to understand how they can create awesome experiences for their customers across platforms.”

What’s A Brand To Do?

Brands can no longer dictate terms. They must connect with the customer in the channel of their choice, which is increasingly digital. The study reveals that more than one in four (27 per cent) consumers prefer to engage with a brand via its website/blog/social channels and that 60 per cent classify a brand ignoring them on social channels as a “bad experience.”

“This study shows that as consumers reach out on digital channels, they are highly sensitive to how and when brands respond to them,” said Tarkoff. “It’s a wakeup call for brands to realise that providing great experiences on digital is the surest path to attracting and retaining happy customers.”

Download the “Path to Happy Customers” whitepaper here.

And check out what people on the street had to say.