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Consumers value customer experience over discounts, claims research

If you want to give customers what they want, forget heavy discounts in January and instead focus on the customer experience. This means being easily contactable (make sure your phone number is on the website!) and not using personal information to bombard consumers with incessant marketing messages. These are key findings of latest research from software company Qualtrics.

Discussing the results of the study, Ian McVey, UK director at Qualtrics, says: “With Christmas spending reported to have broken all records everyone might be presumed to have received what they wanted for Christmas. Our research, however, tells a different story. We asked 3,000 people across Europe what they want most from the companies they favour: 98% cited contact numbers on home pages or within one click; almost 70% said they would consider leaving an unresponsive company; and 35% expect comeback within six hours of contacting a company. 97% say it is important to be able to trust organisations with their personal data. Across the sample, 18-22 year olds are the most demanding of immediate response.”

Everyone loves a bargain, but slashing prices in January is not the best way to build long-term loyalty. McVey explains: “As brands focus on the January sales, we might ask ourselves if customers care more deeply about seasonal price drops, or meaningful responsiveness based on personalised insight. Steep price rises, data theft, digital disruption and other corporate inevitabilities all have the potential to do more damage to the customer relationship than seasonal reductions can heal.” 

Digital media may be transforming how companies and customers interact, but the basics of building customer loyalty remain the same: give customers what they want. McVey concludes: “For PROs and marketers the message is clear; society is undergoing radical behavioural change. Rapidly shifting human dynamics are creating new expectations and perceptions of value. We need relationships that endure, not just transactions we take for granted.”


Qualtrics and Engage Business Media conducted a multi-country online customer survey with a nationally representative survey of 3,000 people across six countries. The research aimed to explore key customer experience trends across Europe. Fieldwork occurred in September 2016.

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