Brands may have ‘over-corrected’ in their efforts to meet consumer demand for functional efficiency, according to Twilio’s Relationship Economy Report 2023. In fact, the research revealed that just 27% of European consumers are regularly made to feel special by brands.
This coincides with the finding that consumers are prioritising expertise and efficiency over emotional connection: nearly a third (31%) of consumers place a premium on expertise when contacting brands, while 24% look for efficiency. These figures far surpass the 15% of consumers who prioritise emotional connection.
This represents a notable shift in priorities. Just last year, the ‘E3 formula’ of efficiency, expertise and emotion were considered equal building blocks of customer engagement.
Sam Richardson, CX consultant at Twilio, said: “There has been a noticeable shift towards pragmatism among European consumers. However, it appears that the pursuit of functional efficiency may be leading to more lacklustre engagements.
“Organisations have been adapting their strategies to deliver dependable solutions that effectively cater to consumer needs, but they must continue to deliver standout experiences that drive strong engagement and make people feel special.”
UK brands over-correcting
The ‘over-correction’ may be even more pronounced in the UK where consumers are the most likely to get frustrated with brands, and efficiency is therefore further prioritised.
In the UK, over a third (34%) of consumers often or always feel frustrated with brands, compared to Spain (31%, Benelux (29%), Germany (27%), France (27%) and the Nordics (27%).
Keeping the spark alive
As many as four in ten (40%) brands are finding it difficult to keep things exciting with their customers. However, the research suggests that human interactions could be crucial to rekindling customer engagement and injecting a fresh sense of excitement into their brand experiences.
A third (33%) of consumers reported that they prefer communicating with brands by calling and speaking to a human, compared to 25% who just want the issue solved and don’t mind how it is dealt with.
Richardson continued: “To bring back the human touch to brand relationships, marketers must bring together relevant data and information with the art of romance. Keeping the mystery alive and surprising and delighting consumers – whether that is through birthday offers, surprise discount codes or service upgrades – become vital elements in fostering emotional connections. By embracing excitement and unpredictability, brands can engage with consumers on a deeper level and become a true customer engagement leader.”Click below to share this article