WHAT MAKES A GOOD EXPERIENCE? Engine Customer Experience Survey 2015

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1 WHAT MAKES A GOOD EXPERIENCE? Engine Customer Experience Survey 2015

2 SO WHAT MAKES A GOOD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE? For the second consecutive year Engine undertook a survey to investigate what consumers believe are the qualities of great service. The results reveal the way services make consumers feel and those sectors that provide the best and worst customer service. Over 1,000 consumers were asked the following questions: 1. What s most important to you in the way a company provides or delivers its service and customer experience? (For instance, through a member of staff, a call centre, a website, a retail store etc.) 2. When you interact with a brand / company, how would you like the experience to make you feel? 3. Brands from which sectors provide the best service and customer experience overall? 4. Brands from which sectors provide the worst service and customer experience overall? 5. In which of these sectors does the quality of service and customer experience you receive from companies matter most when choosing a provider? 6. What would make you most likely to recommend a service to a friend? Q1. What s most important to you in the way a company provides or delivers its service and customer experience? (For instance, through a member of staff, a call centre, a website, a retail store etc.) Once again honesty and efficiency emerged as the most important elements of great service (49%). Despite being a close second efficiency and responsiveness saw the biggest drop (-8%) with flexibility and adaptability the biggest increase (+7%). Looking at the gender split the results are quite telling with women skewing more towards reliability and men more towards engagement and relationship building. The results also reveal differences between age groups. For example older people attach greater importance to honesty, efficiency and reliability. Whereas younger people are more interested in flexible/adaptable and enjoyable experiences. They want the experience of using a service to be entertaining and engaging, not just a transaction but the start of a relationship. Engine s Oliver King commented, Companies can t afford to think about what s important to their average customer that person doesn t exist. Instead, they need to think of the different customer profiles and tailor the experience accordingly for each one.

3 Q2. When you interact with a brand / company, how would you like the experience to make you feel? Respondents stated that more than anything a service should be worth what I pay for it (49%), closely followed by being stress free (48%) and to make them feel valued as a customer (45%). All three saw a drop from 2014 with innovative (+7%) and distinctive (+6%) seeing the biggest gains. Drilling down into opinions by gender, men are more likely to put greater stock on an experience being distinctive and original whilst women are more likely to favour a reassuring and stress free experience. Attitudes tend to be very similar by age, however unsurprisingly people in the 55+ bracket over index on a service being worth what was paid for. Q3. Brands from which sectors provide the best service and customer experience overall? Once again traditional service based industries retained their lead in the top 3. The big difference however has to be retail, which this year leaped ahead of hotels and hospitality, as well as food service/restaurants, taking 38% of the vote. When looking closer at the age split it is clear that younger people in the bracket have rated food services, mobile, leisure and technology much higher. Older people in the 55+ group cite a preference for banks and travel.

4 Men tend to favor public transportation and automotive, whereas women are more likely to cite leisure and food service/restaurants. Q4. Brands from which sectors provide the worst service and customer experience overall? This year nearly one-third (32%) of respondent s selected public transport & train operators just narrowly ahead of utilities (31%). Public services dropped out of the worst three to be replaced by insurance companies (27%). Customer experience has a very strong influence on which companies people choose to use, Oliver King commented. Over the last year, utilities, banking and public services have increasingly focused on this and, as a result, seen the biggest improvement in consumers eyes. In contrast, hotels/hospitality and airlines sectors where people are acutely sensitive to minor flaws in the service have seen the biggest degradation in people s regard of their customer experience. These sectors always have to work the hardest in meeting customer expectations. Q5. In which of these sectors does the quality of service and customer experience you receive from companies matter most when choosing a provider? Food services/restaurants (35%), retail (32%) and hotels/hospitality (30%) the strongest performers are also the sectors where consumers choice of provider is most strongly influenced by the quality of service and customer experience.

5 Interestingly, the study also revealed Automotive as the sector where people s choice of provider is least influenced by customer experience selected by only 11.8% of respondents. Public transport/trains (13.9%) comes second bottom. It s certainly a cause for concern that automotive ranks behind even public transport/trains and utilities in terms of quality of customer service, commented Oliver King. Although figures suggest the experience isn t a strong influence on customer choice, this is because in sales, by the time people reach a dealer, they ve pretty much decided exactly what they want to buy, so the interaction is much more about ratifying and confirming the product meets their needs. However, it s naïve for manufacturers and dealerships to be lazy about customer experience because of the impact it has on the more profitable and on-going areas of servicing and repairs. For automotive, customer experience is all about ownership. Whilst the relationship may start at purchase, the way customers are treated and the service levels dealerships provide will be the deciding factor in loyalty. Q6. What would make you most likely to recommend a service to a friend? By a considerable majority 69% of respondents cited Quality of service as the key factor followed by price at 35%. This is very telling as it demonstrates how important it is for brands to get the customer experience right because as consumers continue have more and more choice competing on price alone isn t enough. SO WHY IS CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE SO IMPORTANT? In summary better customer experience leads to increased revenues, greater likelihood of recommendations, process efficiencies and increased retail visits. King explains: Businesses can more accurately measure the impact that an improved customer experience has on business performance. Clients like Virgin Media, Zurich UK and Hyundai Motor Company have publically cited improvements in those key metrics due to the use of service design techniques to bring greater customer focus throughout their organisations. ENGINE INDUSTRY BREAKDOWN POINT OF VIEW Utilities A lot less people think utilities provide the worst customer experience than last year, however, there s still much room for improvement, particularly in the minds of women who are more likely to think the experience is poor. The regulators efforts to make switching quicker and the price comparison sites making deals more transparent have certainly influenced the result but these make it harder for providers to build long-term customer relationships. Utility firms need to do more themselves, such as addressing complicated tariffs, being seen to pass on wholesale price drops to customers more quickly and taking a more proactive stance on resolving customer issues Banking Banking has hugely out-performed insurance despite both having seen similar turmoil, however banks have been quicker to improve customers digital, human and branch experiences. They ve responded to growing consumer expectation and confidence to transact online and on mobile, but also the important role branches and call centres play in account set-up and resolving issues. They ve been much better at creating joined-up, multi-channel service propositions.

6 Automotive It s certainly a cause for concern that automotive ranks behind even public transport/trains and utilities in terms of quality of customer service. Although figures suggest the experience isn t a strong influence on customer choice, this is because in sales, by the time people reach a dealer, they ve pretty much decided exactly what they want to buy, so the interaction is much more about ratifying and confirming the product meets their needs. However, it s naïve for manufacturers and dealerships to be lazy about customer experience because of the impact it has on the more profitable and on-going areas of servicing and repairs. For automotive, customer experience is all about ownership. Whilst the relationship may start at purchase, the way customers are treated and the service levels dealerships provide will be the deciding factor in loyalty. Public Transport Consumers essentially have no choice about who they use for public transport and trains hence why the customer experience isn t seen as that influential. However, the emotive and very public nature of operators failings means they are prone to high profile bad press, which negatively affects their reputation with both the public and regulatory bodies. With new legislation to compensate for passenger disruption, and operators needing to deploy more staff to manage issues, a poor customer experience impacts more than customer satisfaction, it also hits the bottom line Insurance Insurance suffers from two key problems in terms of customer experience. It s a product people are obliged to have rather than want, plus on the rare occasions they do interact with the provider it normally has negative connotations either going through the sometimes onerous claims process or receiving a renewal notice, often accompanied by an increase in premium. To compound the situation, customers are unaware of the complexity of current underwriting and claims processes so their expectations of a simple and speedy settlement are high. With strong solvency regulations and restrained by legacy platforms, insurers have been less pressured and able to change, However with general insurance customers being actively encouraged to switch each year, the pensions industry shake up and life insurers developing lifestyle propositions, insurance companies need to adapt and respond to the changing industry environment and customers expectations. Insurers need only look to financial service stable- mates in banking to see the benefits a focus on customer experience can bring

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