Adobe has released the Adobe Experience Index 2019 revealing that consumers in India are most likely to expect personal service from the brands they interact with, whether in store or online. The global index, now in its second year, surveyed 1,000 Indian consumers aged 18 or older who owned a qualifying device.
The study found that seamless and personalised experiences are key to keeping customers happy with 82 per cent of Indian consumers demanding tailored experiences. While Indians’ preference for human interaction over interacting with computers is interesting (two out of three customers would prefer this) but also interesting is the fact that a vast majority (79 per cent) of people are happy to have automated experiences if they are done well. As expected, this is higher at 84 per cent among younger consumers aged 25- 34 years.
Older consumers (50-64 years) in India are more likely to agree that brands know and respect them (60 out of 100 compared to 53 on average). In addition, consumers 50-64 are more likely to agree that brands make technology transparent (55 out of 100), and delight them at every turn (54 out of 100).
Customer respect and personalisation are equally important criteria of brand interaction for the younger audience with more Gen Z consumers (18-24 years) also more likely to agree that brands know them and respect them (54 out of 100). The survey shows that if these expectations are not met, it could impact businesses’ bottom line, with one in four consumers abandoning their cart as a result of having challenging user experience and customer care.
Bad customer experience also leads to turning consumers away from a brand, with one in three consumers within the age group of 35+ saying that they will stop purchasing from the company altogether owing to a bad experience and are more likely to complain directly to the company. The top three experience breakers are hidden fees after purchase (50), no cancellation policies for travel packages (49), and different returns policies for marketplace sellers (45).
Sunder Madakshira, Head, Marketing, Adobe India said, “In the past few years, India has seen competition across brand categories intensify, with businesses giving their consumers more choices than ever before. Therefore, Indians having the highest expectations across the world when it comes to personalized customer experiences does not come as a surprise. I believe we are at a crossroad, where managing customer experiences has become business critical. In order to succeed in this experience age, businesses need to be aware of what their consumers want and aim towards delivering personalised, seamless experiences in real-time.”
According to the Adobe Experience Index, the financial sector shows a healthy balance of a seamless customer journey for consumers across touchpoints. Travel and hospitality sector scores big on accessing content via online app (90 per cent) and website (82 per cent) as well as ease of check out (80 per cent), with 92 per cent of 35+ age group feeling that there has been an improvement in customer experience in the past two years.
The retail sector shows a balance of consumers positively rating accessing mobile app as well as the desktop versions of the website (86 per cent and 85 per cent respectively). The media and entertainment industry struggles to meet customer expectations with the lowest score, the least in anticipation of information needed (68 per cent).
While technology is forming the mainstay of consumers’ interactions with the brands, not all are impressed with the kind of futuristic innovation experiences underway, with future innovations getting lower scores than last year, implying that expectations are rising. Interestingly, Gen Z (18-24 years) are less convinced that technological innovations will improve their lives.
On the bright side, Indian consumers are impressed with the potential for automation at smart stores where they are not required to stand in check-out queues or synced vehicle touch screens at drive-throughs, similar to the consumers in the US.