Marketing Practices That Inspire vs. Those That Irritate
March 2012 -- Pitney Bowes surveyed 6,000 consumers across the US, UK, Germany, and France to clarify what customers expect and desire from interactions with businesses, and which interactions irritate them. The findings are important because a few larger marketing trends amplify the consequences of effective vs. ineffective customer communications.
Actions Seen as Negative by Consumers
- Sending weekly emails (89% negative)
- Asking customers to support a brand’s charity or ethical concerns (84% negative)
- Sending offers from third-parties (83% negative)
- Encouraging interaction with other consumers via an online community (81% negative)
- Encouraging customers to attend branded lifestyle events (71% negative)
- Call center reps getting too chummy on the phone (70% negative)
- Inviting consumers to create their own homepage (69% negative)
Actions Viewed as Acceptable by Consumers
- Customer satisfaction surveys are perceived as an acceptable practice by 75% of those surveyed.
- Keeping in contact at a frequency that doesn’t upset the customer is key; 74% of consumers welcome a monthly offer sent to them via postal mail
- A certain level of personalization and familiarity is welcomed; 59% of consumers surveyed say they appreciate online personalization on websites, such as “Welcome, Jane.”
“This survey confirms that brands should listen to consumers before they send out their communications,” said Dan Kohn, Vice President of Corporate Marketing, Pitney Bowes, Inc. “Every interaction must honor the interests of the customer first, only then is a relevant offer or call to action acceptable to consumers. Each conversation between a brand and a customer is an opportunity to delight or disappoint. We’re all learning how to do more of the former and less of the latter.”
Source: Pitney Bowes, Report: Why Some of Your Customers Are Just Not That into You, accessed March 20, 2012.