We recently commissioned a survey of 2, 000 consumers, examining what ‘real-time’ means to end-users and the potential implications of making customers wait. We dug into the various industries where real-time experiences are crucially important: gaming, advertising, telecommunications and banking. And while it was no surprise that consumer patience is short, 71 percent of respondents said that they perceived ‘real-time’ as immediate. Immediacy, however, is complicated. Across industries, the execution of real-time experiences is sorely lacking in the eyes of consumers, and it’s costing businesses in the form of lost customers and revenue and reputational damage.
Making Relevant Offers
Since digital isn’t going away and it’s unlikely that consumers are going to become more patient, how can businesses achieve the speed necessary to deliver real-time customer experiences? Let’s look at one of the industries where real-time is failing – digital advertising. 70 percent of respondents said they see at least one real-time offer per day, but only 28 percent of those offers were relevant, meaning an overwhelming majority of offers are poorly-timed or targeted incorrectly, resulting in wasted ad spend, at the very least. 63 percent of respondents said non-personalized offers are annoying, and a negative interaction with the brand could ultimately hit the bottom line.
Need for Speed
Targeting consumers with hyper-personalized offers is challenging enough, but companies must factor in the heavy weight consumers place on having those offers come through in real-time. When asked what factors matter most for a positive customer/user experience, 83 percent said speed is one of the most important aspects. Similar to the question of relevancy, the majority (63 percent) of survey respondents indicated that waiting would negatively impact their relationship with a brand. This data points to the unavoidable truth: faster is better in the eyes of consumers, and while they may not understand the technical challenges involved in ingesting and analyzing data in real-time, their expectations remain high.
We all know developing immediate, customized experiences that meet consumer expectations is easier said than done, and it can be a narrow window of opportunity to target a consumer with the exact right offer at the right time. Having a system in place that enables you to immediately analyze and act on customer data is critical to customer acquisition and retention and ultimately your bottom line.
For additional insight from our survey research, please download the “Psychology of Waiting” eBook.