The young and dissatisfied: Hansa Cequity report on CX

Are you geared up for the customer experience challenge in 2018 and beyond? Excerpts from a Hansa Cequity study

Nov 30, 2017 09:18:00 AM | Article | Campaign India Team

Our earlier blog that featured the Forrester 2018 Report highlighted that customer experience (CX) has become the centerpiece of business strategy as companies adjust to the ‘experience economy’.
A recent study among Indian customers by customer equity consultancy, Hansa Cequity puts into perspective how much Indian companies are geared up for the CX challenges of 2018.
The study across seven industries reveals that organisations can improve customer experience across all four key areas – ease of information access, accuracy of information, relevance of information and completeness of information. 
The key highlights: 
- Overall satisfaction levels across industries was low
- Over 39 per cent of the total population was not satisfied with their overall interaction with brands
- Only 21 per cent of the respondents were completely satisfied while the remaining were neutral in their view 
- The younger respondents were less satisfied compared to the older age group
- Respondents below 25 years were the least satisfied with their interaction with the brands
- The study found that only 14% of the respondents were fully satisfied with their interaction with company representatives and over 46% were not satisfied with the knowledge of the company representatives during their personal interactions. The dissatisfaction levels were highest in the retail industry.
- Most brands today are actively investing in social media as an active channel for CRM. Most respondents were partially satisfied with their interactions with the brands over social media. 
- Over 81 per cent of respondents received responses within the same day on social media and only 3 per cent of them never received a response from the brands. Younger respondents were found to have higher levels of satisfaction through their interaction with social media.
Across the four key areas, (ease of information access, accuracy of information, relevance of information and completeness of information) the satisfaction levels were low and did not show any significant improvement over the previous edition of the annual study. The variance across industries and various age groups is stark and it is important for brands to carve out engagement strategies that appeal to all age groups, the study notes.
Implications for organisations
Brands need to craft strategies that resonate with each of their audience age-groups.
While ease of interaction is important, brands need to focus on providing
accurate and complete information across customer touchpoints. 
It is important for brands to invest not only in their channel and customer strategy but also in
content strategy.
While across the industry the satisfaction levels were low, the financial sector was found to be better performing than other industries.
Retail, Healthcare, Airline and Automotive were laggards especially when it came to information completeness.
The study also cites that while digital and technology has given rise to newer touchpoints and self-service options, the world of offline transactions continues to play a significant role when it comes to delivering unique customer experiences. It suggests that in order to reap benefits of marketing and sales efforts, organisations must equip their representatives with information and tools to deliver superior experiences. "Marketing without internal operational efficiencies are less successful in the long run," the study emphasises.
While 'Omnichannel' interactions is the buzz word, respondents who have interacted with brands across various channels voted for the traditional voice based interactions as the most effective. However, mobile apps and social media engagements were found to be more effective than email based interactions. 
Demographics-based CX
India will be the youngest country in the world by 2020, with a median age of 29. According to the World Economic Forum Report, the Indian middle class doubled in size over an eight-year period from 300 million in 2004 to 600 million in 2012. Since 1990, households with high disposable income have risen twenty-fold.
What does this mean for organizations? They need to tailor the experiences to meet the demands and needs of this population which can no longer be ignored. The study also looked at a few variables like location, usage of emerging channels like social media and age group to see if distinct patterns emerge. 
The study found that respondents in the age group 25-40 years were more dissatisfied as compared to other age groups; while respondents greater than 40 years on and average were most satisfied with their interactions. 
The dissatisfaction levels of the youth 18-25 years of age was the highest in Metros. This emphasises the fact that the younger audience tends to be more demanding especially in areas where choice is abundant. 
The large implication for organisations: Customer Experience means different things to different people and so does satisfaction of interactions. Organisations need to craft segment specific experiences based on geographic locations, age of customers, education and so on. This primarily stems from the fact that the needs, values and behaviours of each segment may be distinct.