Consumers would pay up to 16% more for better customer experience, Say companies have lost the human touch, according to PwC survey

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  • 75% of Consumers Around the World Desire More Human Interaction;
  • 65% of U.S. Consumers Find a Positive CX to be More Influential than Advertising

NEW YORK, March 26, 2018 – PwC today released Experience is Everything: Here’s How To Get It Right, which explores consumer views on and expectations of customer experience (CX).

Price and quality remain top of mind when consumers make purchasing decisions, but 73 percent of global respondents say that a positive experience is among the key drivers that influence their brand loyalties. In fact, the price premium for quality CX among consumers worldwide is real--and it adds up to a 16 percent on products and services.

The CX Disconnect: Human Touch vs. Technology

In the age of chatbots, digital payments, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data, most brands are not striking the right CX balance. And yet, new PwC data shows 75 percent of consumers say they want MORE human interaction in the future, not less. Sixty four percent of consumers feel companies have lost touch with the human element of CX.

“CMOs take note: our research revealed that 65 percent of U.S. consumers find a positive brand experience to be more influential than great advertising,” said David Clarke, PwC principal and Experience Consulting Leader. “The ‘Experience Economy’ has ushered in a new B2C mindset, steering brands beyond emphasizing products and services to selling rich consumer experiences. Our findings quantify the potential ROI on experience investments, upwards of 16%.”

The Detrimental Cost of Bad CX & Quantifiable Value of Good CX

Bad experiences drive consumers away – fast. Globally, consumers would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service (60%), unknowledgeable employees (46%), and lack of company trust (50%). One in three (32%) say they would walk away from a brand they love after a single bad experience.

Speed and efficiency (80%); knowledgeable and helpful employees (78%); and convenience (77%) universally matter most. These cornerstone CX elements are so highly valued that 52 percent of consumers would pay more for greater speed and efficiency; 43 percent would pay more for greater convenience; and 41% would pay more for knowledgeable and helpful employees.

The CX Game Changer: An Empowered Frontline

While the consumer generates the revenue, employees drive the experience. Seventy one percent of consumers think a company’s employees have a significant impact on CX. But only 44% believe that employees understand their needs well; Consumers in Japan, the U.S. and Singapore are less convinced that their needs are understood (21%, 38% and 38%, respectively).

Clarke continued, “Brands won’t be able to solve their CX problems with technology alone – it’s just an enabler, facilitating the connection between a product or service and consumers. Instead, they must find a way to create an experience that blends consumer demand for tech with their strong desire for authentic, personal interaction. They don’t need to look far, though – employees hold the key to creating and sustaining great interactions with consumers.”

In short, consumers are willing to pay for a customer experience that goes beyond the norm and brings together the best elements of people, technology and service with a smile.

Read the full findings at pwc.com/future-of-cx.

Methodology

PwC surveyed a nationally representative sample of 4,000 U.S. respondents, from Gen Z to Baby Boomers, via an online survey and in-field interviews in December 2017; 11,000 respondents from 11 additional countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Columbia, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Singapore, U.K.) were surveyed in January 2018.

About PwC

At PwC, our purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. PwC is a network of firms in 158 countries with more than 236,000 people who are committed to delivering quality in assurance, advisory and tax services. Find out more and tell us what matters to you by visiting us at www.pwc.com.

PwC refers to the PwC network and/or one or more of its member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity. Please see www.pwc.com/structure for further details.

© 2018 PwC. All rights reserved.

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