Do you let your customers choose how to communicate with you?

In newly published research, almost 90% of customers said the availability of a brand through their preferred communications channel will impact on their customer loyalty.

The research was conducted by customer engagement company Interactive Intelligence. It found that 87% of consumers claim their brand loyalty is affected by whether or not a brand will respond via their preferred social media or communications channel. Also 79% said they would use a different retailer if they received a slow response from customer service.

Dave Paulding, Regional Director for Interactive Intelligence, said: “Having the data to know, understand and compare customer details is imperative to success. Every brand has data, but not every brand uses it effectively. Retailers can benefit from technology such as cloud-based solutions that can far more effectively handle big data analysis across all interaction types.”

The research also found that consumers have different expectations of the various channels for interaction offered by retailers. For example, 47% said they expect an immediate reply from web chat enquiries, and 77% said they expect a reply via social media within half an hour.

More than 90% of respondents said they would be more satisfied with a brand if they received a reply within an acceptable timeframe.

And when things go wrong, 54% of respondents said they would give negative feedback about a retailer online if they were not satisfied with its service.

David Atherton, Director of Customer Experience at, said that once his firm realised the importance of speedy customer response, it deployed machine learning technology in its call centre which pre-empts the reason a consumer is calling and directs them accordingly.

“For example, when a new order has been placed, we know the person calling probably wants to find out about their delivery time. We provide the answer automatically as soon as the call comes through. We also know a customer’s order history, previous conversations with agents, ratings for our site and any past issues.”

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