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New CX Research from Optimove, Hotjar, American Customer Satisfaction Index

Topics Include AI-Driven Marketing, the Importance of First Impressions, and US Citizen Satisfaction with Federal Government Services

New CX Research from Optimove, Hotjar, American Customer Satisfaction Index

Optimove: US Consumers Feel Positive about AI-Driven Marketing

US shoppers feel that a bright future is in store for AI-driven brand marketing, according to a new report from customer marketing firm Optimove. Of the 305 US consumers surveyed in Optimove’s 2024 Consumer Perspectives on AI-Driven Brand Marketing Report, more than half (55%) said they have positive feelings toward companies that use AI in marketing. In particular, 26% described their sentiments as “very positive,” highlighting a growing appreciation for AI’s role in tailoring shopping experiences to consumer needs.

Shoppers also embrace AI-driven personalization, the report indicates, with 51% professing positive feelings and 27% owning “very positive” sentiments. Meanwhile, 24% view AI personalization as “somewhat positive” and acknowledge its helpfulness while noting occasional inaccuracies. Of the 24% who reported negative feelings, 13% find it intrusive and 11% prefer brands not to use AI at all. A quarter of respondents show as being indifferent.

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Nearly half (49%) of US consumers trust brands that use AI in marketing, and more than six out of 10 (63%) said they know when the stratagem is being used on them. Because of this, the report points out, retailers should capitalize on their customers’ enthusiasm for AI by incorporating it openly into their marketing strategies, highlighting how the technology is able to improve personalization and tailor content to customer needs. Almost half (46%) of consumers surveyed also said they have made purchases based on AI recommendations.

Despite these positive sentiments, data privacy emerged as a top concern for 34% of respondents. Moreover, 19% of consumers surveyed feel that AI recommendations are occasionally “over-personalized,” suggesting that some marketers may be missing the mark as they aim to strike a balance between customization and intrusion, the report notes.

Tel Aviv, Israel-based Optimove is a privately held company that develops a software-as-a-service (SaaS) product for relationship marketing emphasizing customer satisfaction and retention instead of sales. The company’s product has a customer data platform (CDP) at its core that applies optimized algorithms aimed at autonomously improving multichannel campaigns.

Hotjar: First Impressions Are Key to Brand Loyalty

New research from Hotjar, the purveyor of product experience insights and data analytics, shows that websites must have instant appeal or risk losing consumer interest within seconds, and that issues such as slow loading times could cause even loyal customers to switch to rival brands.

First impressions are everything, the study notes, and brands have an average of three clicks to convince users to stay on their site before they navigate elsewhere. At least 71% of customers said the first impression they get from a company website influences their brand loyalty, and 64% said that they decide within a few seconds whether or not a website has the information they need.

Speed bumps for sites could mean roadblocks for customers. Among respondents, 92% said they have left a website because it did not load quickly enough, and 74% said they typically exit a page upon encountering an unnecessary pop-up on a website.

Such roadblocks could, in turn, cost companies their customers and sales. Rather than dealing with slow-loading pages, 93% of consumers would rather switch to another website, and 84% of those looking to make a purchase would rather move to a competitor’s website than deal with a difficult-to-navigate site.

Ease and efficiency are also vital. Running into issues on a website makes consumers trust a brand less, even if previously they had good experiences, and concise headlines make shoppers more likely to interact with a website.

“The hard truth is that organizations will lose interest if they continue to neglect to understand what users truly want and need,” says Mohannad Ali, CEO of Hotjar, a Malta-based subsidiary of French digital platform provider Contentsquare. “Leading with empathy combined with a customer-first approach is the best way to make a tailor-made, online interaction.”

ACSI: Citizen Satisfaction with Federal Government Services Rises Again

Satisfaction among US citizens with the federal government’s services continues to improve, reveal the findings contained in the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) Federal Government Report 2023. The ACSI, as defined by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based organization of the same name, is a national indicator of the quality of economic output for goods and services as experienced by consumers of that output.

This year, the ACSI citizen satisfaction score climbed 2.9% to 68.2 out of 100, an improvement for the second year in a row. Last year, the score stood at 66.3, up 4.6% from 63.4 in 2021. In 2006, the ACSI score had climbed to as high as 72.6.

“Collectively, these two large gains have returned citizen satisfaction to levels not seen since long before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic,” says Forrest Morgeson, associate professor of marketing at Michigan State University and director of research emeritus at the ACSI. “The data suggests that citizens are happier with their federal government interactions than at any time since 2018.”

The improvement is driven by gains measured by the ACSI report across all of its four performance areas—process, information, customer service, and website. The score in the efficiency and ease of government processes rose 6.1% to 70, while the score in the ease of accessing information and its clarity advanced 4.3% to 72.

Related Article: OMB Launches Biden Agenda Calling for Improved CX Within the Federal Government

Scores increased dramatically on the remaining two areas of government performance, up 8.3% to 78 in courtesy and professionalism of customer service, and up 13.0% to 78 in the perception of government website quality. Both areas had suffered a small dip in their scores in 2022 compared with levels a year earlier.

Although the report makes no attempt to measure public satisfaction with politics, politicians, and political parties, the ACSI data indicates that factors such as political party affiliation likely influenced the perception of citizens on the government services they receive. The year-over-year satisfaction score is unchanged for Democrats at 71 and among the relatively small group of “Other Party” supporters at 56, but the score improves both for Republicans, up 1.5% to 67 and for Independents, up 4.8% to 66. These gains are largely responsible for the overall improvement in citizen satisfaction with federal government services.

The ACSI report for 2023 is based on interviews with 847 users, chosen at random and contacted via email throughout the year, according to the organization.

Author Information

Alex is responsible for writing about trends and changes that are impacting the customer experience market. He had served as Principal Editor at Village Intelligence, a Los Angeles-based consultancy on technology impacting healthcare and healthcare-related industries. Alex was also Associate Director for Content Management at Omdia and Informa Tech, where he produced white papers, executive summaries, market insights, blogs, and other key content assets. His areas of coverage spanned the sectors grouped under the technology vertical, including semiconductors, smart technologies, enterprise & IT, media, displays, mobile, power, healthcare, China research, industrial and IoT, automotive, and transformative technologies.

At IHS Markit, he was Managing Editor of the company’s flagship IHS Quarterly, covering aerospace & defense, economics & country risk, chemicals, oil & gas, and other IHS verticals. He was Principal Editor of analyst output at iSuppli Corp. and Managing Editor of Market Watch, a fortnightly newsletter highlighting significant analyst report findings for pitching to the media. He started his career in writing as an Editor-Reporter for The Associated Press.

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