••• customer experience

4 customer experience trends for 2014

Did you know that consumers are only willing to wait an average of 76 seconds for customer service support when visiting a Web site? In the time it takes to toast a piece of bread, a customer – or potential customer – could be gone.
This figure comes from New York customer experience management company LivePerson’s second-annual Connecting with Customers research study, which explores the online trends and consumer behaviors that are shaping today’s digital experiences and driving consumer expectations.
On LivePerson’s The Connected Customer Blog, Anurag Wadehra shares the four primary themes that emerged from the research.

1. Room for improvement

Brands today cannot afford to deliver only the basics when it comes to the online experience. Consumers are quick to look elsewhere when they feel their expectations are not being met. Forty-nine percent of consumers continue to find Web sites difficult to navigate, with 33 percent struggling to seek help or locate customer service.

2. Brand trust and loyalty

There’s no substitute for the human touch. Seventy-eight percent of consumers agree that they are more likely to be loyal to a company that provides real-time, one-on-one support at critical moments during their digital journey.

3. Speed and efficiency

The window of expectation for timely assistance is growing narrower. Nearly three-quarters of consumers stated speed and efficiency were the most important factors in creating a great online experience.

4. High-impact moments

Identifying the key moments where consumers may require additional support during their digital journey is essential. The actual moment of purchase is one of these moments, as 35 percent say that they need help or support at this stage.

••• social media research

Can Twitter predict virality?

There’s been talk in the microblogosphere of a clandestine experiment being conducted by Twitter to predict which tweets have the potential to go viral.
The Twitter account @MagicStats is protected and the bio simply reads “I favorite the best tweets I see in re-al-time.” According to TechCrunch writer Matthew Panzarino’s November 26, 2013, article, this account is similar to and “followed by many members of Twitter’s search and relevance team, just like Twitter’s other experiments @MagicRecs and @eventparrot.” Twitter uses @MagicRecs and @eventparrot to direct-message members with personalized recommendations for users/content and events, respectively.
Despite its magical moniker, Twitter’s experiment suggests there’s more science than sorcery involved in pre-dicting virality. Although Twitter has declined to comment, Panzarino has observed that the account “appears to be working on several metrics including velocity of activity (like favs and retweets from other accounts).” In some cases, a Favorite from Magic Stats can result in 100+ retweets in a few hours.
Cracking the code to virality could create a huge advantage for Twitter advertisers and also allow now-publicly-traded Twitter to charge a premium for its targeted marketing services.