Customer loyalty is being damaged by organisations that are unable to provide seamless experiences across channels and timely access to information, according to MuleSoft.

The Connected Consumer Report 2017 found that as a result of these disconnected experiences, a significant number of UK consumers said they would consider changing their insurance (63%), retail (61%) or banking (55%) providers. Furthermore, respondents cited public services as the most disconnected industry (58%), with 44% of respondents claiming that they or someone they know have experienced a delay in care due to information not being shared between different healthcare professionals.

Ian Fairclough, EMEA vice president of services at MuleSoft, said:“Today’s consumer expects a fully connected and highly personalised experience, but it is clear that organisations across the private and public sectors are falling short. As the figures in the Connected Consumer Report show, siloed data and systems can have a negative impact on customer loyalty. Even more concerning are the delays in patient care and the subsequent impact on citizen health.

“Businesses across every industry need to prioritise connecting applications, data and devices, enabling customer loyalty to pervade every aspect of a business and provide a seamless experience for their customers. For businesses that don’t, they risk consumers disconnecting from them.”

Top factors contributing to disconnected consumer experiences

● Personalisation falls short of customer expectations: A common complaint from many UK consumers is that they continue to be poorly targeted with personalised information and offers, which indicates customer data isn’t being used effectively. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of consumers believe banks provide a personalised service; however, this figure plummets for retailers (46%), insurance providers (45%) and public services (39%).

● Data input deja-vu causes customer fatigue: More than half of UK respondents (51%) said they get frustrated at having to re-input or re-submit personal information that was previously provided when dealing with insurance providers and public services. Neither the banking nor retail sectors fared much better, with 48% and 46% of respondents expressing frustration.

● Wait times and unfulfilled requests leave customers dissatisfied: The speed at which organisations respond to online or offline requests for information is another area of frustration for many consumers. The research reveals that the UK’s public services are at the bottom of the pile again in this regard, with more than a third (34%) of consumers who have submitted a query or request for information finding it could not be answered or took longer than anticipated because staff did not have access to all the information they needed. Consumers had similar complaints about bank (30%), retail (28%) and insurance (28%) providers.

● Difficulty in sharing information leads to customer abandonment: The research found that sharing information is often difficult and a significant number of consumers are simply giving up on an activities or requests for this reason. Nearly a quarter (23%) of consumers have given up on interacting with a retailer because they were not able to share information in a way that suited them. In comparison, 21% of consumers have given up interacting with insurance providers, 20% with public services and 19% with banks.

Many consumers favour personalisation over privacy

The research highlights that there are opportunities for organisations to meet consumers’ expectations in the future. Nearly half of UK consumers (48%) would be happy for banks to share their banking transaction history with a trusted third-party if it gave them a more personalised banking experience. Indeed, nearly a third (30%) of UK respondents would consider using Amazon, Google, Facebook or Apple for banking services if it was offered, rather than using their standard bank. This figure jumps to 45% for 18-34 year olds, indicating they are more willing to embrace this potential new wave of banking services, citing simplicity and convenience as their biggest reason for doing so.

In the insurance sector, UK consumers are also starting to be more open to sharing personal data. More than a third (37%) of consumers would be happy for their insurer to utilise third-party data from Facebook and collect data about their behaviour if it meant that they were provided with a more personalised service and lower premiums. Once again, it is the younger 18-34 age group (46%t) that is most happy to share such data.

Ian Fairclough added: “No organisation is immune from digital disruption, whether it is high street banks competing against innovative fintechs or bricks-and-mortar retailers trying to regain market share from Amazon. The challenge for many organisations is to bring multiple technologies and data together to create a cohesive and personalised customer experience. This is no small undertaking, especially for those organisations with legacy technology and processes. We’re seeing our customers do this by taking an API-led approach to connectivity. By using APIs, organisations can make applications, data and devices discoverable and reusable so that they can easily access and serve up customer information across all channels in real time to provide a truly connected experience."


By Jonathan Davies, editor, Digital Marketing Magazine

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