4Service Group researchers conducted a face-to-face meeting between experts and consumers. We studied the opinions of two groups of respondents regarding omnichannel, personalization, and artificial intelligence technologies.
Numerous studies show that the opinion of experts (eg business representatives) can sometimes be wrong. When implementing innovations in service, it is always important to take into account the opinions of customers and potential consumers. This helps you build your strategy correctly.
Experts tend to believe that all business decisions should only be taken on their recommendations. This is a misconception.
Such statements raise reasonable doubts and require numerical indicators. Using the example of omnichannel, personalization and artificial intelligence technologies, the survey showed the attitude both experts and consumers had to these concepts.
Experts-from the top level management teams of Russian companies in the retail sector were asked to name, in their opinion, the most popular, companies on the market. After receiving the answers, researchers compiled a list of approximately ten companies. The same question was also put to ordinary consumers.
However, consumers named only 45% of the brands previously named by experts. If the experts believe that they are making accurate decisions on behalf of the consumer, then shouldn’t the opinions match 100%?
According to experts, consumers failed to name 55% of companies mentioned by them as they are currently too innovative. Experts believe that the consumers are yet unaware of these brands and therefore do not consider them popular. They also believe that there are companies on the market that are progressive, based on certain criteria, and are becoming more popular through innovation.
Among the favorite companies, consumers named Sberbank, which had been able to decrease queues in their branches. However, experts have completely different concepts and understanding of good service. Hi-tech companies can be extremely innovative and broadcasts their achievements to the world but do not realize that they are not appreciated by the consumer. They may appreciate their innovation or initiatives in the future, once they have more information about the product.
There is an algorithm for product consumption. If you offer an entire population the opportunity to buy a new technological and effective product, the first purchases will make up 2.5% of the overall group of purchases., This will be a group of innovative consumers interested in trying it out. The rest of the customer base will not make a decision to purchase. As time passes, more and more customers from the company’s customer base will buy the product, after hearing how good it is from those who bought it earlier. The customers who buy products based on input from their more adventurous counterparts makes up around 14% of the overall customer base.
After the product has been evaluated by early followers, the main group of consumers, the “early majority” (34%) will buy it and make up a further 34% of the customer base. This is made up by people who buy the product because it has already been on the market for some time and they know it is good quality. A further majority will then purchase the product after the previous 34% and then the remaining 16% of the customer base will buy it at an even later stage.
The previously mentioned experts are in the first and second groups of innovators and early adopters. By definition, they are required to follow innovative products and try out new services. Their task is to find everything new products and analyze and implement them on a daily basis. An expert of service is hired as an innovator and it is they who set the trends on the market.
The Japanese came up with a QR code and Chinese experts were the ones who accustomed their consumers to QR codes. Somewhere in Europe, electronic queues were invented. This topic was approved by the public and began to be cultivated in everyday life and involve consumers. Today, electronic queues are the main trend in Eastern Europe and everyone is trying to implement them. However, in the USA nobody knows about them!,
— says Evgeny Lobanov, author of the study and Director of 4Service Group for Central and Eastern Europe/Turkey
The expert has the potential to implement technology and the power to impose it on the consumer.
The first conclusion: an expert is an innovator, a person who should always be open to new ideas and products and look ways to implement them.
Research has identified and proven the second characteristic of experts. The study group was asked how well they measure service in their company, if they implement changes, what they know about the client, how the corporate culture is focused on customer service and how well strategy for customer experience is developed.
The highest score was given to the measurement characteristic. The defining theme of the experts’ mentality is the need to measure something. The Mystery Shopping service was originally developed as a tool for measuring employee performance and is now regarded by clients, in most cases, as an opportunity to measure and confirm shortcomings in the service.
As a result, implementation and changes in the company are slow and corporate culture is not set up. Researchers also offer to solve the problem of improving the service immediately from the start of the project. You can get results in real time by informing the staff about the project launch and involving them in the process of improving the level of service.
An expert is a professional who is responsible for developing the company’s service strategy. Experts should have critical thinking skills and be able to evaluate innovation and decide whether to implement it or not.
Paradoxically, they do not evaluate their work with enough authority, with self-criticism often dominating the assessment. The expert sees the actual measurement tools and gives a high score. When evaluating the strategy, the expert begins to doubt whether it is good, whether it is properly written, whether it takes everything into account, what it will result in, whether it will help or not, will it be profitable for the company and will it be liked by the customers?
Even consumers were more loyal to the experts’ innovations than the experts themselves. For example, experts answered “No” about a sufficient number of communication channels. At the same time, consumers were happy with everything.
Today’s communication trends require direct professional research. A survey of experts and consumers on the introduction of omnichannel, personalization and artificial intelligence allowed us to generate the following statistics:
The process of comparing the results of a survey completed by consumers about businesses that use omnichannel marketing revealed a significant difference of opinion. Data confirmed that the market was oversaturated by aggressive sales when using omnichannel. However, experts believe the contrary, that employees offer little and the consumers are already beginning to complain.
The client clearly states that omnichannel communication is already a sale. Some 14% of respondents treat the introduction of multiple channels of communication as an attempt to impose more purchases. That is bad. Experts are sometimes unable to see the line doing something for a consumer’s benefit and doing something just to make a sale.
When conducting the survey, it was important to indicate which of the omnichannel communication tools companies will implement in the near future, what they are have already implemented and what they do not plan to use.
The consumer is quite positive about mobile apps as a tool for associating themselves with the brand. You can draw an analogy with the previously very popular technologies of bonus cards from companies that provide goods and services. It was prestigious to have a brand card for a significant discount. Now bonus cards are of less relevance and consumers have grown accustomed to a number of mobile applications. Companies create mobile apps and consumers use them to give themselves status.
It is important to say to the 32% of companies that are not going to implement mobile apps, “you are wrong, guys”. And those 32% who will do this within a year should hurry up because it provides your company with a competitive advantage and will only be relevant today.
Another insight on the topic of omnichannels that the experts have missed. Consumers that did not receive any adverts felt the benefit of having many channels of communication as they believe it saves money, which is equal to saving time. You can quickly resolve the issue using the most convenient communication channel.
Strengthen the launch of the company’s new communication channel with good advertising. Clients will be pleased to know how they can save money and the knowledge of information allows you to put the service in a slot that brings new positive emotions and additional profit,
— Yevgeny Lobanov, author of the study, Director of 4Service Group for Central and Eastern Europe/Turkey.
Experts live in their own world, implement an innovation and move on. However, consumers notice whether omnichannel communication options have been implemented with the sole aim of saving them money or not. Sending a message to the consumers will be appreciated and there is large group of people who realize the advantage of companies without any advertising.
Experts were asked to answer two questions:
The results, in fact, should be the same. However, the customer received a suitable product offer as a result of the history of their purchases. What does this have to do with loyalty?
Most experts mistakenly confuse personalization with segmentation. They believe that personalization is sending a customer an offer with their first and last name inviting them to purchase a new product or service.
INSIGHT: 76% of companies ‘ personal service occurs without the knowledge of the central office. Experts are not even aware of the provision of the service.
Personal service is personal communication. When the seller has taken the initiative and offered timely assistance, the consumer feels important. Individual communication and attention signs work but not segmented mailings.
The topic of implementing artificial intelligence is now very relevant on the market. However, it is still very new.
Customers have heard about it and experts know about it but there is no detailed understanding of it yet and no action is being taken to implement the technological trend.
The main conclusion of the study is that both expert and consumer opinions should be taken into account. The expert’s opinion is always critical in nature. It is a strategic development of the service, a look into the future and is usually ahead of the consumer by about 2 years. The consumer’s point of view helps solve current, tactical issues and is usually optimistic in nature. Consumers do not need as much as experts believe they do.
After calculating the response to the newsletter experts produced following this survey, a clear conclusion can be made. Experts gave 3.7 times fewer responses than consumers. We can predict that in two years, the consumer response will fall by a factor of 3.7.
4Service Group experts are ready to provide a free consultation, complete analysis or segment analysis for certain business areas.
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