Pitney Bowes just completed a survey of 6,000 consumers in the U.S., U.K, Germany and France to learn what customers expect and desire from interactions with businesses and which interactions irritate them.
The findings are interesting and amplify the consequences of effective and ineffective customer communications.
Actions Seen As Negative by Consumers:
- Sending weekly emails — 89% negative
- Asking customers to support a brand’s charity or ethical concerns — 84% negative
- Sending offers from third parties — 83% negative
- Encouraging interaction with other consumers via an online community — 81% negative
- Encouraging customers to attend branded lifestyle events — 71% negative
- Call center reps getting too friendly/personal on the phone — 70% negative
- Inviting customers to create their own homepage — 69% negative
Here are three things consumers viewed as acceptable:
- Customer satisfaction surveys — 75% acceptable
- Keeping in contact at a frequency that doesn’t upset the customer — 74% of consumers welcome a monthly offer sent to them via postal mail
- A certain level of personalization is welcomed — 59% of consumers say they appreciate online personalization on websites
What these findings tell me is that it’s key to find out what your customers want, what are their expectations, and then meet those expectations.
You can also monitor your opt-out rate to determine if you are sending too much too frequently.
However relevance is key. I don’t mind getting a daily email from Zappos because its fun and they know what I’m looking for. However, I’m about to opt-out of the weekly email I get from Costco because the offers are not targeted and relevant.
What do you think?