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Consumers Want Tech Brands to Play Wider Role

Single-brand ‘ecosystem’ is seen as emerging trend among technology consumers

A new Xerox report, ‘The State of Customer Service 2015,’ reveals that more than half (51%) of consumers are comfortable with the idea of buying into a single brand “ecosystem” for all their technology, communications and media needs. By 2025, 37% believe a single supplier will manage their home.

Technology consumers – who cited 166 different brands for five different devices - are already buying into one-brand ecosystems with 40% having at least two devices from the same brand. Furthermore, nearly half (43%) of those willing to buy into a single brand would like their chosen technology brand to be their sole supplier for telecoms and media too.

The Xerox study, which surveyed 6,000 consumers across the media, telecoms, and technology sectors in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France and the Netherlands, about their attitudes to customer care, found that technology consumers are the most satisfied, with the lowest risk of churn. When compared to customer satisfaction in telecommunications (34%) and media (41%), more consumers are highly satisfied with technology brands (48%).

“As these findings show, the role of the technology brand in our lives is only going to grow,” said Jared Kearney, technology industry leader, Xerox. “With high satisfaction and low turnover, consumers trust technology brands to provide further services beyond those that they have traditionally.”

Other trends revealed by the report include:

• It’s still bricks and mortar when buying new technology: Over a third (35%) of all purchases still take place in-store; 26% of Gen Z consumers (those aged 16 to 20) prefer to shop in-store. Despite technology users’ embrace of the store however, 26% of complaints to technology brands went through the call center. Overall, the retail store is still the channel of choice for consumers contacting technology brands in France (25%), Germany (28%), the Netherlands (25%), and the United Kingdom (25%). In the United States, the call center is the channel of choice (32%), with 21% preferring the retail store.

• The privacy vs personalization challenge: Only 1 in 5 are comfortable with brands using their personal data. At the same time, 68% of consumers expect at least basic personalisation of communications and services from their technology brands, with only 10% of consumers feeling that technology brands fully understand them.

• Consumers demand omni-channel contact: Nearly half (48%) of consumers were unable to contact technology brands via their preferred channels over the last 12 months. When consumers were unable to use their preferred digital channels, 60% stayed within the digital landscape, but 1 in 5 fell back to the call centre.

“With growing customer loyalty, technology brands have a huge opportunity to take the lead and position themselves at the heart of their customers’ worlds,” said Kearney. “While the retail store is still key to keeping this loyalty high, brands should embrace the variety of omni-channel customer experiences available, across digital, offline and the call centre – meeting the consumer at the channel of their choice.”