Al generations of Irish respondents are likely to be influenced by social media.

Survey reveals importance of online reviews

A new survey has looked at the impact of social media on our purchasing decisions and the importance of a positive customer experience.

The survey conducted by TELUS International found that all generations of Irish respondents are likely to be influenced by social media ads when contemplating a purchase -61% of Baby Boomers, 75% of Gen X, 76% of Millennials and 62% of Gen Z. Europeans are similar and all generations look to social media ads before making a purchase - 56% of Baby Boomers, 71% of Gen X, 82% of Millennials and 79% of Gen Z.

The survey, which polled 2,000 consumers across Ireland, the UK, Germany and France about their expectations before, during and after a purchase, revealed what each generation finds most important to have a successful customer experience.

TELUS International is a digital customer experience (CX) innovator that designs, builds, and delivers next-generation solutions, including AI and content moderation, for global and disruptive brands.

In addition to the strong influence social media has over purchasing decisions, the survey also found that 81% of Irish respondents consult online reviews before making a purchase.

Additionally, positive reviews are clearly influential to 83% of respondents in Ireland overall.

In the past year, 73% of Gen Z respondents in Ireland have made at least one purchase stemming from a social media ad, with 16% making at least six.

“Because of the meteoric rise of online shopping and time spent on social media, brands must think digital when it comes to designing their overall approach to the customer experience,” said Maria Pardee, chief commercial officer at TELUS International.

“Social media has become a critical space for brands to positively influence buying decisions across all generations. These survey results demonstrate the value that brands can derive from dedicating resources to moderating user-generated content on their sites such as product reviews, questions, complaints and comments, to make a great first impression. They also show the tremendous upside to optimising social media ads to ensure consumers are seeing products and content most relevant to them.”

Roger Clancy, VP Operations and General Manager, TELUS International Ireland, which employs more than 2,200 people across its sites in Cork, Dublin and Mayo said: “The results provide key insights on consumer preferences. AI is a vital tool for CX companies to free up the time of customer support agents to focus on complex enquiries and to create lasting connections with customers.”

“It is vital that brands ensure an excellent customer experience (CX) at every touchpoint along the customer journey.”

Brand loyalty

Once consumers make that all-important first purchase, brands still have critical work to do in order to ensure they will buy from them again and become brand advocates. Good customer service following a purchase (such as short wait times and easy exchange/return processes), is most likely to lead to future purchases, according to 87% of all respondents.

It also found that sustainability programmes are most likely to influence the brand loyalty of 53% of Irish consumers across generations.