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We live in a world in which consumers expect on-demand and fully-connected experiences. Organizations cannot escape these expectations and the forces of digital disruption that come with it.

To explore this topic further, the inaugural MuleSoft Connected Consumer Report independently surveyed over 4,000 adults to examine how disconnected consumer experiences impact consumers in the banking, retail, insurance, and public service sectors, and outlined the opportunities that connectivity presents for businesses.

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The report defined a connected consumer experience as “an organization knowing your preferences across all channels and/or being able to provide you with access to the information you need in a timely manner.” The results weren’t pretty. Over half of consumers feel they receive a disconnected experience across banking (53%), retail (52%), insurance (55%), and public services (58%).

The results of the survey revealed that there are a number of factors that contribute to a disconnected consumer experience, including the lack of personalized interactions, the need to re-submit data or information when purchasing an item online or filling out a form, the speed at which consumers receive accurate information, and the difficulty in completing an activity (e.g. transaction) or obtaining information (e.g. insurance quote) online.

The above factors not only contribute to consumer frustration, but also exacerbate the feeling of disconnectedness that consumers already feel. It is no wonder that many retail consumers (63%) surveyed cited that they are prepared to change providers or organizations if these factors are not addressed and these expectations are not met. Consumers echoed similar sentiments for insurance (63%) and banks (55%) as well.

These findings are cause for alarm and demonstrate that organizations that fail to improve consumer experiences will eventually lose their market share to competitors that are able to build unique, connected consumer experiences.

There are four key factors that organizations should consider when aiming to build a connected experience:

Pitfall #1: “Do you Know Me?”

Delivering personalized interactions is an important element for building a connected consumer experience. A common complaint from consumers is that they continue to be poorly targeted with personalized information and offers, which indicates customer data isn’t being used effectively. The banking sector is leading the pack when it comes to personalization, with 71% of respondents citing that they receive a tailored consumer experience, compared to only 44% for the public service sector. This demonstrates that there are noticeable differences between industries when it comes to personalized interactions.

Pitfall #2: “Is this Deja-vu?”

Consumers also found it frustrating to re-submit data or information. ‘Data input deja-vu’ was a pain point for more than half of respondents across the banking, insurance, and public service sectors. This finding is indicative of the experiences of the modern consumer, who interacts with organizations using a number of channels – in-person, web, mobile, etc. – and has a poor experience due to the siloed nature of applications, systems, devices, and data.

Pitfall #3: “Hello? Anybody there?”

Consumers’ experience was also hindered by the speed at which they receive accurate information for online or offline requests––from product availability information to billing inquiries. This issue was particularly prevalent in the public service sector and, in particular, in Germany, where 45% of respondents cited that they experienced unanswered queries or delayed queries  from public service organizations.

Pitfall #4: “Do I really need to pick up the phone?”

Consumers are not only frustrated by the speed of their experiences, but also complain about the difficulty in interacting with specific channels. Many consumers cited that they find it hard to complete simple activities (e.g. submitting an application) or obtain information (e.g. requesting shipment status) online. The report found that, across the board, nearly a quarter of consumers have given up on an activity due to how difficult it is to obtain information in a way that suited them. This gripe is more prominent amongst consumers between the ages of 18-34, highlighting the growing impatience of the millennial age bracket.

It’s clear that consumers are growing increasingly intolerant of these disconnected experiences and, as discussed earlier, many of them are willing to take their business elsewhere if their expectations are not met. How can organizations better meet consumer expectations and build an effective consumer experience strategy?

Read MuleSoft’s Connected Consumer Report to learn more about the disconnected consumer, changing consumer expectations, and the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for banks, retailers, insurers, and public service organizations