Survey: Customers have low tolerance for poor experience

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Survey: Customers have low tolerance for poor experience

By Dan Berthiaume - 07/25/2019
New research indicates retailers ignore customer experience at their peril.

According to a survey of 2,000 consumers and 250 retailers in the U.S. from payments provider Klarna, 55% of shoppers say just one bad experience would stop them from returning to a retailer. Almost three in 10 (29%) say shopping isn't as fun as it used to be, with 36% feeling that what shoppers today have gained in convenience, they've lost in experience.

Consumer respondents indicate desirable aspects of customer experience include brand values they can align with (49%), flexible payment options (36%), and human engagement (28%). This is especially true of millennial and Gen Z shoppers, who care less about value for money, and more about brand image (22%, compared to 13% of respondents over 45) and flexible payments (32%, compared to 21% of respondents over 35).

When it comes to what drives customer disloyalty, a bad returns process (46%), and a drawn-out online checkout without payment options (28%) rank highly.

Responses from retailers suggest the industry is starting to recognize the critical importance of customer experience. About four in 10 (39%) retailers agree that loyalty is no longer solely driven by rewards, and 69% say they have to work harder than ever to retain customers. But, many (36%) are struggling to keep pace with changing consumer expectations around experience and are being held back by outdated tech (33%) and a short-term focus on sales (29%).

The top areas for retailer investment over the next 12 months are a curated experience (39%), additional payment options (34%), brand content (34%), and a smooth online user experience (33%).