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The future of brands depends on consumption to use

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Viséo Conseil today unveiled the results of its "Customer Services Observatory 2014", drawn from a survey conducted by BVA among 1,019 people on their expectations in terms of customer relations, their habits and their image of customer relations.

If we consider that in economics consumption is the use of a good, what does consumption by use mean? A new concept? A real trend? It would be the purchase of a service according to a specific need. 
Some talk about the shift from a property economy to a use economy. A real revolution that profoundly transforms our societies or a niche movement? 

The crisis and the Internet have given rise to a new citizen-consumer who is trying to escape the traditional market channels and focus on the direct exchange of goods and services. He is no longer content to look for the best low-cost promotion on price comparators. Out of conviction or necessity, he prefers the temporary rental of a car, a drill or a washing machine, depending on his needs, to an expensive and definitive purchase that most often goes through the credit box. His mantra is no longer ownership, but rental for use. In the past, one used to buy a CD to listen to music, today one wants to have access to a play list. If I need to get from point A to point B in the city, I rent a city car; if I have to go to the country this weekend, I rent a 4X4 or a Espace, ...
"Consumption generates less and less satisfaction. The new models do not break with consumerism: they re-enchant it. It's more fun, it costs less and it can even make money. What consumers are interested in is not the products but their use", deciphers Philippe Moati, co-president of the Observatoire société et consommation, in an interview with Libération. When you realise that your car spends 95% of your time in the car park, car sharing becomes an obvious choice...

37% of the French are brand "zappers".

First observation drawn from the analysis of the results of the Viséo Conseil survey, only 47% of the French qualify as "loyal" while 37% fall into the category of "zappers". (1). While the majority of loyal customers are over 50 years old, retired, childless couples, the zappers are generally young people between 18 and 24 years old who are students, rather distrustful of brands.

The lack of competitiveness of the offer is the reason for the infidelity to a brand invoked by 42% of the French. 19% changed their brand because the products and services no longer met their expectations and finally 12% felt that they had not obtained the service in view of their loyalty.

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The most competitive sectors, i.e. those with the lowest loyalty rates, are clothing (63%), mass distribution (62%) and purchases of cultural or leisure products (53%). At the bottom of the list, however, 10% of the French have changed gas or electricity suppliers, 20% Internet service providers and 22% banks and insurance companies.

The future of brands depends on consumption to use

While 40% of the French believe that brands do not take their opinions or suggestions into account, they have to meet increasingly discriminating expectations in order to build customer loyalty.
-• Personalization of customer services and consumption to use (television, telephony, music, mobility, leisure and holidays, etc.) in particular: for 92% des Français, customer services remain one of the strongest links in building a company's image and brand loyalty. Thus, 32% of the French have a better image of the brand and 35% will be more loyal to it if it offers a pay-per-use service. These rates exceed 40% among 25-34 year olds, executives and students. Obtaining personalized service when in contact with a brand would promote loyalty for 21% of the French.
-• A need to listen Although 80% of the French say they are satisfied with the quality of customer service regardless of the field of activity concerned, 29% say that customer services are not listening to them. While 40% feel that customer services do not take their opinions or suggestions into account, this rate rises to 52% when considering opinions on social networks or websites.
- The need for innovation The 76% of French people who have contacted a customer service department in the last 12 months have used an average of 3.5 different channels, the majority of which were telephone (59%), e-mail (53%) and the brand's website (50%). While only 27% of the French are doing this face-to-face, 21% are already doing it via an instant messaging application and 8% via a smartphone application.

"BVA-ViséoConseil's Observatoire des Services Clients 2014 shows that, more than ever, brands must pay special attention to customer service. It is by personalizing their customer relations services, rather than their products, that brands will succeed in making the most of the game and building loyalty," says Ludovic NODIER, President of Viséo Conseil and Founder of the Customer Service of the Year Election. "For example, the results of our study show that consumer-as-usual consumption appears to be a consumption mode of the future that is becoming more and more important because it reflects the sociological evolution of consumer behavior".

Data confidentiality: 68% of the French are aware of being "tracked" by the brands.

A large majority of French people are aware that brands collect personal information via their smartphones. This figure reaches 78% among 18-24 year olds, 84% among students, 80% among executives, 74% among residents of large cities. But this level of awareness does not mean giving brands a blank cheque.

Indeed, only 19% of the French accept the use of their personal data. While this situation causes the indifference of 36% of those who accept it, 23% consider that the brands respect their privacy and therefore trust them and 19% recognize that they provide them with quality services.

Students, 18-24 year olds and managers were less resistant to the use of their personal data with 30%, 29% and 28% positive responses respectively.

In order to improve the services offered by a brand, only 14% of the French are willing to allow brands to connect to their various everyday objects, 14% to allow access to their history on their tablet or smartphone, 17% to allow access to the geolocation data of all their connected objects and 7% to allow access to personal data via social networks.

Customer services not so easy to contact

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The French favour human contact (59% by telephone, 27% face-to-face) and the Internet (53% by e-mail and 50% via a website). It is by telephone and face-to-face contact that the French consider that access to customer service requires the most effort. In fact, it is the "grumpy" and "suspicious" customers for whom the contact required the most effort. On the other hand, all modes of contact through "remote" channels (application, website, social networks, e-mail) are considered easier. The use of these channels also contributes to better satisfaction with scores above 80%.

"The contract between consumers and brands is literally changing due to the exponential use of smartphones and other tablets generating new uses. The 2014 Customer Services Observatory reveals that a movement is underway, driven by young people who willingly accept the use of their personal data insofar as they obtain in exchange for a service, an offer that corresponds precisely to their expectations. Usage value is becoming the cornerstone between consumers and brands". explains Marie-Laure SOUBILS, Deputy Managing Director of BVA Services.

In a free forum of e-marketing.fr, Brian Bell, marketing director at World of Zuora, states that ""the shift from a transaction-based to a subscription-based purchasing model is a change in business model that is impacting many sectors. It is a challenge but also an opportunity for marketing professionals to inject creativity into a strategy. "It would therefore be "a model in line with the expectations of today's customers".

Read the complete study

(1) "Loyal" consumers almost always purchase the products of a particular brand, have been subscribers or customers of a service for several years, or frequent the same point of sale assiduously. Zappers" systematically compare offers and choose the most advantageous one.

Survey methodology
Interviews conducted by BVA's Internet polling institute, from Friday, August 29 to Monday, September 2, 2014, through 15 questions to French people about their expectations, their customer relations habits and their image of them, based on a sample of 1,019 people, representative of the French population aged 18 and over, whether or not they use a customer service. Surveys were adjusted for the socio-demographic criteria of sex, age, professional activity of the interviewee and the profession of the head of the family.

About Viséo Conseil
Founded in 2007, Viséo Conseil is a Customer Relationship Management consulting company, which assists companies in defining, implementing and managing their customer relationship strategy. Viséo Conseil's operational and realistic recommendations are designed to exploit the added value generated by customer relations. In this same logic, its teams have developed the myViséo solution (in SaaS mode) which enables the quality of the customer relationship delivered and the level of customer satisfaction to be evaluated.
For 8 years, Viséo Conseil has been known to the general public for organizing the Customer Service of the Year Election in France, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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