A new consumer survey report, entitled 'Connected Consumers and The Most Personal Brand Experience', has identified several specific areas in which consumer brand loyalty and satisfaction are most vulnerable following purchase. This article is copyright 2015 The Best Customer Guide.

Based on a survey of more than 1,000 consumers conducted by Support.com in September 2015, the report provides unique insights into customer experience with brands throughout the customer journey: from pre-purchase through purchase, setup and/or use, customer support, and additional purchases.

The survey found that 57% of "Connected Consumers" - respondents who defined themselves as frequent to heavy users of technology - said they think about a brand when there is an issue (e.g. defect, technical issue, setup problem) with the product or service purchased. Further, when asked about all of their experiences with brands - both before and after purchase - the largest percentage of Connected Consumers (40%) indicated the most memorable brand experiences occurred when dealing with installation, technical issues and returns.

On the other hand, the survey found that opportunities for brands exist at all stages of the post-purchase experience. For instance, the same percentage (57%) of the Connected Consumers surveyed indicated they think about the brand when considering a purchase of any other product, while almost half (48%) think about the brand when looking to upgrade or replace an existing product.

"With more consumers relying on connected devices, there is an inherent complexity of technology that can have consequences on the customer experience," said Alex Poulos, VP of Marketing at Support.com. "If this complexity is not effectively addressed, it can drive a wedge between the brand and its customers. Companies now understand that every customer touch point is an opportunity or vulnerability for their brands. The study clearly shows that customer service and support is a critical element of the customer experience."

The survey was conducted to better understand how specific interactions with companies and products throughout the entire customer journey can impact consumer trust, loyalty and overall satisfaction. The report offers valuable insight on the behaviors and preferences of more than 900 consumers ages 18-60 in the United States who identified themselves as Connected Consumers (89% of the 1,000+ consumers surveyed).

Additional findings published in the report included:

  • 52% of Connected Consumers said that efficiency and ease of service, support and assistance determines brand loyalty
  • Connected Consumers also expressed clear frustrations with, and suggestions for, customer service and support: 24% indicated that what frustrates them most about their support experience is having to repeat information at each step.
  • 36% indicated that more proactive customer service, including predictive diagnosis and suggested fixes, would improve their perception of the brand.
  • 37% of Connected Consumers said a personal experience is not only about interaction with a person but also about the brand knowing their personal preferences, even during self-service support.
  • 75% said they share both positive and negative brand experiences with family and friends.