In the wake of COVID-19, SAS wanted to discover how attitudes have changed and if businesses had made progress in developing their customer experiences. This new survey – using an extended sample size of 10,000 consumers from across Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) – shows that COVID-19 has reinforced the importance of the customer experience in consumer buying habits. And yet, brands are still falling short when it comes to delivering these great experiences.
The quality of the customer experience remains an influential buying factor, with 61% of customers willing to spend more on brands that delivered a good customer experience during the pandemic. A third of customers even said they would abandon brands that delivered just one bad experience.
Overall, the quality of service held up strongly during the pandemic, with three-in-ten consumers reporting their experience had actually improved during lockdown. Brands are also facing an exciting new prospect – large numbers of customers who are using their digital services and apps for the first time during lockdown. About one in seven (15%) of customers can be considered digital adopters, and 70% plan to keep using the new channels permanently.
This new research by SAS brings together the opinions across EMEA, showing how Covid-19 has rapidly changed customer expectations, creating a whole new kind of customer that brands and organisations need to satisfy, to keep them as customers for the long term.
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