No wonder marketers are looking to up their investment in voice search: a survey of more than 500 consumers across the UK reveals the average UK consumer is happy to spend in excess of £195 in an order through voice technology, rising to £232 in the case of shoppers over the age of 30.
According to the study by marketing technology company Wiraya, the rise in the use of voice technology shows the growing use of new tech for consumers looking for outstanding service. The study was conducted alongside Wiraya’s annual CRM Barometer report, which surveyed 750 leading CRM and Customer Experience Managers in the UK and Europe understanding current trends in customer experience.
This report revealed that a genuine two-way conversation with the customer ranks second highest in terms of what businesses now deem ‘outstanding customer service’. Furthermore, over a third of consumers surveyed (36%) want customer service available across different channels including mobile, online and over the phone.
There’s no one rule of thumb for delivering on customer experience and as such delivering a tailored experience to different consumer groups is key. For instance, 14% of 18 to 29 year olds identify self-service as a contributor to outstanding customer service, but this drops to just 4% among over 60s, who are far more interested in receiving proactive offers from brands (24%).
Delving further in to customer expectations in this area, at least 47% of consumers over the age of 45 want the best deals and prices to be directed to existing customers as opposed to luring new shoppers.
Despite this, only a quarter (27%) of business respondents to the CRM Barometer identified offering the best deals to existing customers as an area of outstanding customer service. This comes at a time when over 50% of customers would be willing to share information to enable more personalised, relevant communication.
Sam Madden, UK Director at Wiraya explains: “It’s easy to lose track of the consumer when you’re focused on all the different communication channels. But failing to focus on customer preferences simply isn’t an option. Consumers want to help brands improve their service, but 85% of those we interviewed are prepared to leave a brand or service provider after a bad experience.”
According to marketers interviewed in the 2018 CRM Barometer, 18% of businesses attribute a lack of new or modern technology as a reason for missing goals related to customer experience.
Madden concludes: “The good news is 21% of UK businesses are prioritising existing customers more than prospects this year. The customer’s voice is represented in the top management team in nearly nine in ten companies and 69% of customer experience leads within a business have the authority to make the changes necessary to enhance the customer experience. For many, the answer is building in that crucial layer of automation combined with a personal approach that tailors the service to each customer segment. Thankfully the technology now exists to you enable businesses to do just that.”
All that said, voice commerce isn’t for everyone. A separate study by digital agency Code Computerlove of 1000 UK consumers found that most people are buying these devices not for shopping but to help with getting information – the most popular being how to boil and egg (20%) and getting it to tell them jokes (25%).
The most popular use of the devices is to play music (65%), news and weather reports (50%), travel information (16%) and listening to audio books (8%). Only 7% said they currently use them to buy things.
However, this only shows that consumers aren’t using them for shopping as a matter of course yet. It is clear from all the other research – and from this last study’s indication that consumers are getting used to what they can do with these voice devices – offers an insight into how voice is likely to become a tool for shopping.