When engaging with brands, consumers turn first to their websites, blogs or social sites, presumably for the availability, ease and convenience in doing so, according to a recent survey [download page] from Lithium Technologies. This channel preference is also true when wanting to find out about the products and services offered, per the study.
First Choice of Channel
The study examined 4 types of brand engagement, finding that in each case that owned media such as websites, blogs and social sites were the preferred channels. Online reviews edged email as the second choice when searching more information about a company and about its products and services.
It seems then that when consumers initiate engagement they favor websites and social channels, but when they’re receiving communications, they clearly prefer email over other channels by a large margin.
In fact, about half (49%) of the respondents to the Lithium survey reported having positive experiences with email, compared to 41% who said they had positive experiences with a brand’s website, blog or social network site.
Effects of Negative Experiences
The study results indicate that consumers will punish brands for negative experiences: 46% of US respondents are likely to share their negative experiences with their friends and family and 29% will not only share, but also stop using the brand altogether. Only 21% are prepared to give the brand another chance.
Indeed, the vast majority of respondents said that they would stop using a brand and switch after having a negative experience, regardless of the category in question. Shared economy services are at the lower end of the spectrum and have the most forgiving customers with 82% prepared to switch after a bad experience, whereas restaurants have the toughest critics with 92% willing to switch brands. Insurance providers should be wary, though, as their customers are the most likely to pull the trigger after a single bad experience: 55% of respondents said it would only take one bad experience to make a switch.
About the Data:The survey was conducted online by Harris Poll for Lithium from December 28-30, 2016 with 2,032 participants in the US and 1,006 in the UK, all ages 18+.