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STUDY: It Only Takes 76 Seconds to Secure or Lose Brand Loyalty

live-support_460x3451-455x341What could you do in 76 seconds? Listen to half a song? Scarf your morning muffin? If you’re a brand, in 76 seconds you could gain or lose a loyal customer. That’s some seriously speedy PR!

We recently discussed evolving consumer expectations when it comes to online brand interactions — we know that customers increasingly expect timely and personal responses, but exactly how fast is “timely” and how direct is “personal?” As it turns out, we’re talking real, human interaction at lightning speed.

The results of LivePerson‘s second annual Connecting with Customers research study shows the window to win or lose brand loyalty is a miniscule 76 seconds.

Consumers expect access to real-time help within 76 seconds of beginning to search for it. If help doesn’t arrive lickety-split, customers either choose the slower (and infinitely more frustrating) email option, or simply abandon the site all together.

And assistance doesn’t only need to be fast — it also needs to be direct and personal. The survey revealed that 69% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand that provides live, human assistance at critical moments, and 82% say their perception of a brand improves when live chat is available. Additionally, 88% feel live chat makes their online experience better when they need help; and in the event that they had a problem or question and couldn’t communicate directly with a company representative via live chat, approximately 45% would simply abandon a purchase.

In line with these findings, the research shows that digital engagement tools like live chat, which provide immediate one-on-one assistance, are becoming increasingly essential for brand loyalty. As the number of customers communicating with brands online continues to increase, these tools are likely to only become more important. Currently, approximately one in five of consumers spend 50% of their shopping expenditure online. If brands fail to properly engage these consumers at critical moments, both revenue and brand value may be lost.

“The digital era is massively de-personalizing, so anytime brands can engage their customers with a more personalized, human touch, it makes a meaningful difference,” said Anurag Wadehra, chief marketing officer at LivePerson, in a news release. “Our customers continuously push us to develop innovative ways to help them connect with consumers, and this research validates our belief that no matter how connected today’s consumers are, they still crave real-time, human communication with brands online, and they want it on the go, from the channel they are in.”

As someone who just organized a wedding registry online, I find this to be true — I was about to tear my hair out over a glitch that kept deleting my list, when I found there was an option for one-on-one live chat. The person on the other end helped me sort out the issue, and I once again felt confident having my guests interact with the company. I would clearly fall into the category of people more willing to be brand-loyal after a positive online experience. Would you?

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