The Way Customers Communicate with Brands Is Changing


The Way Customers Communicate with Brands Is Changing

Find Out What the Data Reveals.

Change. It’s inevitable, as they say. But over the past few years it’s felt like the world as we know it has been transforming at lightspeed. During the early days of the pandemic, the digitization of customer interactions accelerated by three to four years, with three times as many companies saying 80% of their customer interactions were now digital in nature. And this shift shows no signs of slowing.

In order to understand what the future holds for customer service professionals, Kustomer went out and surveyed over 3,000 global consumers to understand what changes are occurring in the customer experience landscape. Read on to find out.

Successful companies need to meet
customers wherever they are, whenever they can.

The Social-First Future of Commerce

The lines between marketing, sales, support and customer service are continuing to blur, as the channels consumers use to buy become the same channels they connect with brands on. Social media is the perfect example. While older consumers don’t think of social as a place they choose to connect with brands, younger generations undoubtedly do.

Average number of brands consumers follow on social media:

18-24: 4-6
25-34: 4-6
35-44: 1-3
45-54: 1-3
55-64: 0
65+: 0

Seventy-two percent of Gen Z consumers like brands that are active on social media, and more than half anticipate they will use social messaging to connect with businesses more frequently over the next five years.

Percentage of consumers that like brands that are active on social media:

18-24: 72%
25-34: 70%
35-44: 67%
45-54: 53%
55-64: 45%
65+: 24%

Beyond building connections with consumers on social media, brands also have the opportunity to drive business. Social messaging ranks as the number two choice for consumers 44 and younger to respond to brand offers or discounts, and 79% of consumers report they would appreciate receiving a discount code from a brand they’ve interacted with on social media.

With 64% of consumers reporting they enjoy talking to customer service via the same channels they communicate with family and friends on, and 81% of consumers reporting they like when customer service teams give them a special offer, the conversational commerce opportunity on social media cannot be understated.

With omnichannel customer service, all the information is right at the agent’s fingertips.

How to Prepare NOW for the Future

A few things are clear: consumer preferences are continuing to change, modern messaging channels are becoming more essential to business success, and younger consumers won’t jump through hoops to get their questions answered.

While 51% of all consumers report that they’ve stopped doing business with a brand because they weren’t available on their channel of choice, this number skyrockets among younger consumers:

Percentage of consumers that have stopped doing business with a brand because they weren’t available on their channel of choice:

18-24: 78%
25-34: 77%
35-44: 70%
45-54: 57%
55-64: 49%
65+: 46%

If half of winning is showing up, successful companies need to meet customers wherever they are, whenever they can. This means being available on multiple channels at all times — and sharing the information and conversations from those channels in one place.

Right now, most companies are available on various online platforms — from email to Instagram to live chat — but they aren’t collecting the information from the different platforms and organizing it in one place. As a result, they treat customers like items on a to-do list, addressing each of their issues in a silo. If a customer calls about an issue with an order and later DMs the company about a delay, that information isn’t stored in a common location and causes agent collision — when different agents from different teams are unaware they’re fielding the same issue and offering different resolutions.

As a result, the customer ends up confused and likely has to contact the company more often, repeating the same information to each new customer service agent and explaining the issue again and again. And this wastes everyone’s time.

But there’s a solution. Creating a true omnichannel presence allows a company to see the whole picture, aggregating customer interactions across platforms and allowing agents to solve a customer’s issue with context. When a company adopts an omnichannel approach, they free the customer to contact them whenever, however, and on whatever platform is convenient — and to switch platforms at any time without having to start the conversation over from scratch. With omnichannel customer service, all the information is right at the agent’s fingertips. This not only solves a customer’s issue faster and more effectively, it also turns the interaction from a transaction to a relationship, and the problem from a ticket into what it should be: an ongoing conversation with the customer.

For the full report and a plethora of additional data, click here. To learn how Kustomer can help brands deliver a modern customer experience, sign up for a free trial now.

Andrea Salerno

Manager, Content Marketing, Kustomer, Meta
Andrea runs content and research at Kustomer, keeping her finger on the pulse of all things customer experience. She started her career as a journalist, and has been telling brand stories for the past decade.