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A rise in ‘robotic’ staff services is causing a negative impact on consumer opinion

A new report by Rada Business suggests that ‘robotic’ customer service is having a negative effect on consumer opinion towards UK businesses.

In a survey, 91% of respondents said that they regularly experience situations where employees fail to apply a flexible way of communicating and common sense as a result of not being able to think ‘in the moment’. The survey also found that 46% of people have reported experiencing impatient customer service, 45% said they have experienced unhelpfulness, and 38% have experienced poor communication.

As a result, customers are quick to make judgements about organisations, with 88% admitting that they make negative assumptions about the entire organisation due to inappropriate staff behaviour.

Professionals in the healthcare sector were revealed to have the strongest ability to improvise and work well under pressure, followed by counter staff in banks, and admin staff in the NHS. In contrast, estate agents, staff at utility companies, or staff on public transport struggle the most to think quickly and improvise effectively. 

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Snap’s ad revenue rises 50% year on year

Snap has announced positive earnings results for Q3 2019, with revenue increasing 50% year-on-year to $446 million in Q3 2019.

Snap added seven million daily active users during the third quarter and saw increased engagement across key metrics. For example, daily active users were 210 million in Q3 2019, compared to 203 million in Q2 2019 and 186 million in Q3 2018.

Alongside this, it has seen success with its Discover platform, as total daily time spent watching Discover increased by 40% year-over-year. More than 100 Discover channels reached a monthly audience of over 10 million viewers.

Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap, commented: “We are a high growth business, with strong operating leverage, a clear path to profitability, a distinct vision for the future, and the ability to invest over the long term.”

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Consumer engagement increases as a result of the end of daylight savings

According to data analysis by The Trade Desk, brands are set to benefit from the so-called ‘productivity pound’ that occurs due to the end of daylight saving. This stems from the finding that consumer engagement increased by an average of 12% between 7am and 9am on the Sunday morning after the clocks went back in 2018, compared to the average traffic for the same time period the day before.

Consumers seemingly used this hour to tackle life admin, with brands related to education, home and garden, and personal finance seeing some of the biggest uplifts. Consumer engagement with these three verticals increased by 80%, 62%, and 27% respectively throughout the Sunday morning after the clocks went back last year. Generally, most brands stand to benefit from the end of daylight savings with the overall increase across all verticals averaging 25% compared to the week before.

As a result of this increased morning activity, there was also a reduction in online activity at night, with engagement rates dropping by 20% between 10pm and 11pm, and by 30% between 11pm and midnight the Sunday night after the clocks went in 2018.

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Ad spending increases year-on-year for social, paid search, and ecommerce

Kenshoo’s Q3 2019 Quarterly Trends Report has revealed that spending on social, paid search, and ecommerce advertising has increased for the third quarter.

The report states that ecommerce ad spending increased 54% year-on-year, while targeted promotions in July garnered almost as much ad spending as November of last year on a same-advertiser basis. Spending on social was also up, increasing 32% year-on-year and 4% quarter-over-quarter. Paid search spending increased 7% year-on-year and 2% quarter-over-quarter.

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Other interesting findings include the fact that over the last six months, Pinterest spending per month has increased nearly 30%. Mobile ads continued to dominate, too, accounting for 88% of social spending and 54% of search spending in Q3.

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Consumers are willing to accept 3-4 setbacks before giving up on a brand’s service

When it comes to a brand’s customer service, it appears that UK consumers are prepared to put up with quite a bit to get the result they want. According to Engine’s CX Report 2019 – which is based on a survey of 2,000 UK respondents – consumers are willing to accept between three and four setbacks before giving up on a service. The report suggests that younger people are more flexible, with 16 to 24 year olds accepting 1.4 more failures than the over-55s.

In terms of wait times, Engine found the average acceptable wait-time to be nearly 14 minutes. Again, younger age groups were found to be more willing to put up with longer wait times to get help, with 16 to 24 year olds being prepared to wait up to seven minutes more than the over 55s.

Lastly, consumers cited ‘a website’ as the most popular channel for seeking help with a product or service, with a score 37.4% across all respondents.

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33% of consumers would prefer no marketing at all rather than irrelevant emails

In a survey of 4,003 consumers across the US and UK, Ometria found that customers are feeling overwhelmed by their email inboxes as a result of retailers sending too many marketing messages.

Across the survey, 74% of respondents expressed annoyance at being emailed too often by retailers, with 70% admitting to regularly feeling overwhelmed when they open their inbox, and 15% saying they feel this way on a daily basis. 

The survey also revealed that 84% of respondents said they want to receive personalised offers and rewards for being a loyal customer. Despite this, 53% said that retailers do not understand their personal tastes and interests; 66% of consumers also report feeling annoyed when a retailer markets them products they’re not interested in. As a result of irrelevant email marketing, 33% of respondents said they would prefer no marketing at all, compared to just 17% who said they would prefer a lot of generic marketing that doesn’t use personal data.

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Finally, the survey found that the majority of people are loyal to only a few retailers, highlighting the importance of good customer experience (and relevant communication). 58% of customers say they are loyal to three or fewer retailers, while 82% are loyal to five or fewer.

Econsultancy’s 2019 Email Census