When it comes to customer service online, it’s not enough to direct customers to your website or offer a phone number. The online customer service experience can help or hinder your business online, and it’s important to realize that this is no longer a U.S.-dominated market. A study conducted by Nielsen on behalf of Lithium Technologies examined customer attitudes around the world.
The majority of online consumers will do research before purchasing big ticket items, such as cars or kitchen appliances. However, it seems that consumers worldwide visit more sites during research compared to Americans; French adults visit 3.52 sites, while Americans only visit 2.3 sites.
Positive word-of-mouth can have a major impact in every country. Seventy-three, 76 and 72 percent of American, British and German adults respectively said that they would not purchase a product that has negative online reviews. Sixty-two percent of Germans and 68 percent of Australians surveyed agreed that word-of-mouth remains the most influential form of marketing.
When it comes to leaving reviews, some differences begin to appear. Consumers aged 18 to 44 are more likely to post a review complaining about a product rather than praising it. However, only 27 percent of German adults said they would post a negative review, with 39 percent of Americans saying the same.
Users have a dim view of advertising when it comes to getting product information from marketing. One-third of Americans do not trust marketing, and more than two-thirds of Americans are more interested in advice from friends and family than they are in official marketing.
User-generated content in the form of reviews is popular the world over. It seems that modern consumers are more savvy than ever, and as such, are more inclined to trust their peer group than any advertiser. Indeed, more consumers are doing their homework, comparing information sources and relying on good old fashioned word-of-mouth.