Are Brands Chasing Away Customers With These 4 Simple Mistakes?

Today's race to personalization continues to be a rocky road for brands seeking the best -- and right -- ways to reach and influence their customers. What could irritate consumers enough that they would break away from a brand? What is a consumer's most sensitive type of data? What could be the most egregious thing a retailer could do that would chase away customers? From personalized marketing to retail intelligence data, this personal terrain, so delicate and important to business and consumer alike, cuts across all lines affecting today's business success. 

Top Reasons Why Consumers Break Up With Brands  (Marketing Charts features SAP Hybris study results).

#1  Used consumer's data without their knowledge.

Based on a survey of more than 20,000 people across 20 countries in comparison to US response, a new report from SAP Hybris finds that the use of consumers' personal data without their knowledge is the leading reason customers say they would break up with a brand. Roughly 8 in 10 respondents (80% for the 20 country group and 79% of the US votes)  said they would not use a brand again for this reason. (Note: On the chart, the 20-country average is shown in dark blue bar and the US response is light blue bar).  

-- In addition (according to Marketing Charts), recent research by Cloud IQ showed that  almost half of online shoppers said they would never trust a brand again if it used their personal data in a way they deemed inappropriate.

-- Just 52% of the US respondents are willing to share their email address, compared to a high of 68% in India and a low of 32% in Japan.

-- Other research has shown that income information is the consumer's most sensitive type of data.

So what is reason #2 that customers would break with a brand? Customer service, unnecessary spam, or " (company) made mistakes more than twice"?

#2  Unresponsive customer service.  

Unresponsive customer service is a leading frustration for people around the world. We all know what this is, so why don't companies "get" it? More than 7 in 10 count this as a reason for breaking up with brands; and it's particularly frustrating in the UK (81%); with US (78%) and Canada (78%). Globally, between 82% (Russia) and 96% (Colombia) of respondents expect a response from brands within 24 hours.

#3  Spammed unnecessarily.

A majority (57%) of people surveyed would break up with a brand if it spammed them unnecessarily. This is more of a big frustration in Russia (70%), UK (68%), US (65%) and Canada (65%) than in other parts of the world.

Related to being unnecessarily spammed, people said they were receiving too many direct marketing and sales calls (60%), receiving too many direct marketing and sales emails (50%), and irrelevant content pushes (45%).

#4  (If the company) made mistake more than twice.

How do you feel about company mistakes? If the company made mistake more than twice, it would prompt 53% of the 20-Country Average and 50% of the US response to bolt.  

Bottom line for your bottom line:

You'd think it would be obvious, but it's quite clear that customer relations overall are still, and always will be, the most important and sensitive part of doing business, while a wrong move by a brand can chase the customers away. 

The question of trust:

Brands should be extremely careful about their use of customer data, and specifically about unsolicited outreach. This all ties back to "the question of trust, which CMOs today recognize as growing in importance to their customers," concludes the Marketing Charts summary.

The Global 2017 SAP Hybris Consumer Insights Report

Marketing Charts


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Naomi K. Shapiro, Strategic Market Communications

About Author

Seasoned strategic market communicator, Naomi headed public information for several academic and professional associations as well as founding Creative Brilliance Associates Market Communications. She created and published Brilliant Ideas for Publishers Magazine and authored popular newspaper trade reference, The Brilliant Book of Promotions, Sales Tools & Special Events. Simultaneously, Naomi savored the world as an adventure travel writer that included trekking on glaciers, fishing with saltwater crocodiles and swimming with piranhas. Naomi holds her M.A. from the University of Wisconsin, including participation in a unique industry-science-technical writing program.
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