Study Reveals: Shift Spend to Improving the Buyer Experience


Share on LinkedIn

BBC net promoter indexImage by mia! via Flickr

According to a recent Satmetrix Net Promoter study, one in five consumers switch brands based on a bad buying experience and/or bad customer experience. Satmetrix, in their 2011 Net Promoter Industry Benchmarks study, conducted surveys with over 20,000 consumers. What they found was that approximately 22% of consumers stopped doing business based on a bad customer experience. The study also found that the number one source of trusted recommendations came from family, friends, and colleagues with a majority very willing to share their buying and customer experiences. Consumers surveyed further showed that they put more trust into what their friends and colleagues shared than in advertisements or content.

What I found most interesting is that a whopping 83% trusted independent sources with which they had a personal relationship over advertising or content. Family, friends, and colleagues made up the majority of these independent sources. However, the impact of social media and the digital age is becoming evident in this study. Nearly 20% of those surveyed indicated they engaged in the buying behaviors of researching online product reviews and other buyer opinions. This will undoubtedly grow over the next decade.

The Satmetrix study also showed that buyer experience interactions were closely associated to defection. The three top reasons, in order, why consumers switch brands were:

  • An interaction with a rude employee
  • Unexpected charges or fees
  • Poor quality of the product or service

This study shows that the buyer experience is becoming the primary difference maker in at least the B2C world. With an increasing blending of consumer sentiments into B2B business sentiments, this has profound implications for B2B organizations as well. If organizations, be they B2C or B2B, have not evaluated their spending on advertising and content recently, this study indicates that the tidal wave of change in consumer and buyer behavior is quite large and that organizations should get this on their agenda. Likewise, this study is also a de facto manifesto to assess how well they are doing on buyer experience. The study serves as a mandate to attain relevant and timely insight into how consumer or buyer interactions with their organization can be reinvented.

The rise of the digital age and social media networks makes experience highly visible to interested communities of buyers. Bad buying and customer experiences will travel through these networks like a flash flood leaving organizations gasping for air as they attempt to stymie the tide of defections. The admission price may be the obvious of a high quality product or service but getting the not-so-obvious buyer experience right is where a business will succeed or fail on buyer retention and acquisition goals. Getting at the not-so-obvious buying and customer experiences that consumers or buyers desire will require companies to shift resources they may be devoting to advertising and content currently. These shifted resources going towards first attaining critical buyer insight through in-depth qualitative research and second towards designing buyer experiences that reduces the risks of defections.

What is obvious in the digital age and in the new buyer experience economy is that no amount of advertising or content produced will overcome bad buyer experiences. If consumers or buyers encounter an unsatisfactory buyer experience, you can be sure that others are going to find out about it. The difference now is that instead of just a few family, friends, and colleagues finding out, the potential for hundreds and even thousands of existing and potential buyers to find out is very real.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tony Zambito
Tony is the founder and leading authority in buyer insights for B2B Marketing and Sales. In 2001, Tony founded the concept of "buyer persona" and established the first buyer persona development methodology. This innovation has helped leading companies gain a deeper understanding of their buyers resulting in revenue performance. Tony has empowered Fortune 100 organizations with operationalizing buyer personas to communicate deep buyer insights that tell the story of their buyer. He holds a B.S. in Business and an M.B.A. in Marketing Management.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here