Consumers Say Customer Support Is Most “Defining Moment” in Customer Experience, SAP Survey Reports

WALLDORF — Some 85 percent of consumers polled rated outstanding customer support as most important when shopping a brand, according to a survey by Qualtrics, the global pioneer of the experience management (XM) software acquired by SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) last year.

The findings were part of the “SAP Fashion Index,” which asked 5,000 consumers about their perceptions of fashion brands and their overall shopping behavior, according to SAP.

In addition, 81 percent of the survey respondents said they expect brands to go above and beyond when it comes to their offers and promotions. To meet consumer expectations, brands need to analyze customer data to create a balanced strategy for personalizing content experiences with the preferred channels that resonate with each individual consumer.

Acting on key moments can be the key to building a customer base of loyal brand advocates. Many brands are missing this mark, as evidenced by the significant gaps between consumer expectations and experiences. For example:

  • 75 percent of consumers have high expectations for digital shopping experiences, but only 63 percent believe brands are delivering.
  • 73 percent of consumers expect brands to go above and beyond for delivery and pickup, while only 59 percent believe brands are performing.
  • 57 percent of consumers expect reward and loyalty programs as part of the overall experience, and only 47 percent of brands are fulfilling these expectations.

An enhanced XM strategy is needed to close these gaps and meet consumer demands. Winning brands deploy actionable surveys and then activate changes.

“Understanding the consumer’s ideal shopping experience gives brands an advantage in today’s retail landscape,” said Lori Mitchell-Keller, SAP Industries co-president. “As survey respondents indicated, outstanding customer support is a top desire. Retailers should adhere to this demand, offering personalized, in-the-moment experiences to deliver on expectations.”

The survey results will be featured at NRF 2020: Retail’s Big Show in New York, January 12–14. Visit SAP’s booth (4221) to learn more.

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Methodology

Using Qualtrics technology, SAP conducted a survey of 5,750 individuals regarding their perceptions of fashion brands and their overall shopping behavior. Data collection took place during July and August 2019 via online survey delivery. In order to qualify for the survey, a respondent must be a United States resident, aged 18 or older, that has shopped with at least three of the 83 polled fashion brands in the last six months. Potential respondents were shown a random set of 21 fashion brands to endorse having shopped at in the past six months. Of these 21, if less than three were selected respondents were shown a different random set of 21 fashion brands. If less than three brands were selected combined across the two sets, the respondent’s participation was terminated. A total of 750 individuals were terminated from the survey resulting in an effective sample size of 5,000 respondents. In all we had 14,850 brand responses captured.

Media Contact:
Stacy Ries, +1 (484) 619-0411, stacy.ries@sap.com, ET
SAP Press Room; press@sap.com

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