What an Indian consumer wants today has changed dramatically. How you may ask? Contrary to conventional beliefs, a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour is happening, wherein the product and service quality, coupled with exceptional customer service and a seamlessly orchestrated digital experience, has taken precedence over the traditional allure of lower prices. These changes have not only challenged but redefined the narrative, emphasizing the burgeoning importance of overall customer experience as the primary driver of consumer choices.
From the meticulous analysis of 1,200 responses from Indian consumers, the Qualtrics 2024 Consumer Trends Report has extracted key drivers steering purchase decisions in 2024. These encompass a resounding emphasis on product and service excellence, with 57 percent of consumers prioritizing superior quality. Additionally, a notable 53 percent underscore the significance of effective customer service support, positioning it as a pivotal consideration. The digital realm also plays a substantial role, with 34 percent prioritizing the ease of digital interactions.
- Price: While price remains a factor, it assumes a secondary role, resonating with only 29 percent of Indian consumers as a primary driver in their decision-making process. Social responsibility emerges as a compelling influencer, with 26 percent considering a brand's positive impact on society a significant factor in shaping their purchasing decisions.
- Product & Service Excellence: A substantial 57 percent of Indian consumers prioritize the superior quality and excellence of products and services in their decision-making process.
- Customer Service Support: Remarkably, 53 percent of Indian consumers place great value on effective customer service support, deeming it a critical factor in their decision-making journey.
- Streamlined Digital Experience: The ease of a digital encounter assumes a significant role, with 34 percent of consumers emphasizing seamless interactions and transactions in the digital realm.
- Social Responsibility: Social accountability resonates with Indian consumers, as 26 percent consider a brand's positive impact on society an influential factor in their purchasing decisions.
- A Winning AI Strategy Balances Technology with Human Connection: Addressing consumers' apprehensions about losing the human touch in AI adoption is imperative. While 64 percent of Indian consumers are comfortable engaging with AI-powered services, concerns about the potential loss of human connection, job displacement, and misuse of personal data are paramount.
- Service Excellence Trumps Low Prices: Despite economic considerations, 53 percent of Indian consumers prioritize quality service over lower prices, highlighting the crucial role of customer service support in fostering loyalty.
- Evolution in Feedback Dynamics: Consumer feedback dynamics are evolving, with a 7 percent drop in direct feedback share since 2021. Organizations must adeptly gather feedback from diverse sources, including call center conversations, online chat, product reviews, and social media, to comprehensively understand customer expectations.
- Digital Support Dynamics: Digital channels significantly contribute to revenue, yet consumers express lower satisfaction with digital support compared to human-assisted interactions. Addressing this trend is imperative given the escalating reliance on digital channels globally.
These revelations challenge the conventional notion that price is the predominant factor influencing consumer choices, underscoring the escalating significance of the overall customer experience. There is a pivotal departure from conventional wisdom, establishing the ascendancy of customer-centric considerations in the competitive Indian consumer landscape. As we delve deeper into the intricate fabric of these revelations, the stage is set to explore the major trends defining customer experience in India for 2024, offering a panoramic view of the evolving dynamics that will shape market strategies and consumer engagement in the coming year.