98 per cent of Australian consumers say that companies who respond quickly to their queries quickly get more of their business.

According to a new study released by communication software company Twilio, the communication experience between a company and their customer has a direct impact on brand and revenue.

The study found that after a positive communications experience, seven out of 10 consumers purchased more products or services from that company; but one-third cancelled their service or switched to a competitor following a negative experience.

In Australia, 38 per cent of consumers rated communications from businesses as fair, poor or terrible. As a result of a bad communication experience, 42 per cent of Australian consumers report that they switched to a competitor and 64 per cent told friends or family about the poor experience.

According to the study, Australian customers prefer to communicate with businesses via phone more than other regions. They are also the most likely to contact a business to make a payment or get information about a product or service.

“As more and more communication channels become available, consumer expectations are shifting but the experiences businesses deliver have not kept up,” said Angie Bell, Head of APAC Business at Twilio.

“To narrow the gap and deliver the best customer experience, businesses need to personalise their interactions, improve their speed of responsiveness and communicate via the consumers’ preferred channels.”

Companies that provide good communication experiences are 2.6 times more likely to have revenue growth of 15 per cent or more, the study found.

Meanwhile poor communications experiences cost businesses money. 51 per cent of businesses report that they received negative customer reviews as a result of bad communication experiences their customers have had.

But many businesses aren’t aware of how poorly they are communicating with their customers:

  • 94 per cent of businesses claim their customers are satisfied with the responsiveness of their communications, yet 96 per cent of consumers disagree.
  • When rating their performance on various channels, companies report they communicate most effectively via email and phone. When compared to customers’ ratings of these channels, however, these companies rate their ability to communicate via phone nearly four times higher than customers do and their ability to communicate via email two times higher than customers do.
  • Businesses that offer communications through a mobile app, social media, or SMS rate their performance as “excellent” two times more often than customers do.

Twilio surveyed more than 2,000 consumers in the US (1,018), UK (515), and Australia (512) about their communications preferences and experiences over the course of the last year when communicating with businesses across a variety of industries through a comprehensive set of channels from email to phone and all digital vehicles.

The full findings are contained in the report ‘Bridging the Communication Divide’.

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