AI platform Coveo’s 2023 Customer Service Relevance report shows that the brand ‘ghosting’ trend in retail continues to swell.
This follows negative consumer experiences as organisations are pressured to retain and expand their customers in an uncertain economy.
Across the demographics surveyed, customers expect their service and support experience to deliver the most relevant information throughout their engagement with a brand so they can make the most of a product or service.
Although 87% of Gen Z respondents said they’d give retail brands more chances than other demographics, 60% said they’d abandon a brand without notice after several negative experiences.
The report also stated that the retail industry has the worst customer service, followed by service providers, health insurance and technology providers.
What are the key findings of the report?
Great products alone aren’t enough to keep customers. Of those surveyed, 59% of Gen Z and 49% of Millennials said they would give a brand a third chance before abandoning it. Generation X (40%) and Baby Boomers (32%) are not quite so generous. It’s notable that the digitally native generation has more patience for a poor online experience. However, that doesn’t mean that Gen Z will offer brands endless chances when it comes to service.
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Rather than complaining, customers will ghost a brand. Of the respondents, 55% say they rarely or never complain about a negative digital customer service experience in retail. Gen Z respondents (60%) say they rarely or never complain to a company.
No self-service is better than poor self-service. Half the respondent (50%) say they would prefer no self-service option if it’s going to be a bad experience.
What do customers want from retailers?
A majority (50%) say they want to see the actual answer within the search results, not just from links.
In addition, 46% said they want more intelligent chatbots, 44% wanted advanced filtering that narrows the search to their exact need, and 33% said they wanted to get recommendations for content that has been helpful to others with a similar problem.
Why will customers abandon a brand?
● “It’s too hard to talk to an actual person” (overall 53%; Gen Z: 49%)
● Getting conflicting information from customer service representatives (overall 46%; Gen Z: 43%)
● Not being able to find the information on their own (overall 43%; Gen Z: 40%)
Coveo general manager of service Patrick Martin commented: “Because customer expectations are constantly evolving, you need to build an experience layer that works across all channels. That experience layer must sit on a flexible foundational platform that includes search and machine learning. There’s an opportunity to deliver the proactive experience your customers seek and save money doing it.”
The full Customer Service Relevancy report can be found here.