Waggener study shows Indians more likely to follow brands online for better customer service

According to a report released by Waggener Edstrom India titled,  “ Content Matters: The Impact of Brand Storytelling Online in 2015’’, shows that over 73 % of Indians recommend brands with a greater digital footprint and higher levels of online social engagement. It also found that inspirational, funny and entertaining content is most likely to be shared on social platforms followed by personal, news and educational content.

Commenting on the report, Carolyn Camoens, regional VP, Waggener Edstrom Communications, APAC said: “I’m not going to share what I had for lunch today. But if there is something funny or inspirational I am sharing that. So it still goes back to the nature of that content that is being shared and how much value it has for the Indian consumer. I know pictures of my half-done kitchen are not interesting to you, but me saying ‘my home coming together’ is sharing an emotional experience with your network. That’s what brands need to connect to.”

Nandini Goswami, director, corporate communications, Kellogg India, commented on the finding saying that there is a flipside to this mobile and digital wave in India, saying: “While social media has its many positives, there is a negative side to this as well. With the rise in smartphones usage, dissatisfied customers have an additional channel to vent on. This means that they don’t give the organization enough time to respond as the issue has already been tweeted, retweeted and shared on Facebook. Each industry will be affected differently by this.”

The report also explored the correlation between devices and social media platforms relating to purchase behavior and how those dynamics vary across nine industries: Beauty, Consumer Electronics, Finance & Banking, Food & Beverage, Healthcare, Mobile Devices & Tablets, Personal Care, Restaurants & Dining, and Travel & Tourism

What engages customers online?

According to the report, 9 out of 10 Indian respondents are likely to follow a brand on social media seeking general news, information about discounts and promotional offers and to register issues with customer service.

With regard to device preferences, while desktop computers and smart phones remain the top two device choices, Facebook and WhatsApp are leading platforms for sharing content. 29 percent of consumers polled indicated that Facebook remains the top social media platform preferred by Indians for sharing content, followed closely by WhatsApp (26 percent).

Consumption habits

16% of respondents surveys use search engines and another 16% are fans of word of mouth, while 14 percent use company websites, review sites, social media, traditional media, forums, blogs; IM and online news are all popular too. When it comes to recommending brands to friends and family, 73 percent of digital savvy respondents are willing to recommend brands that they have a high level of engagement with online.

The survey is based on responses from 4000 consumers in 9 countries across the Asia-Pacific region, which included Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and South Korea. In India, 1200 respondents were surveyed. 

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