Kentico Survey: Websites Second Only to Word of Mouth in Driving Brand Affinity

London, February 26, 2013 – Kentico Software, the Web Content and Customer Experience Management provider, today unveiled from the Technology for Marketing & Advertising 2013 Conference (TFM&A) the results of new Customer Experience Survey designed to shed light on how customers are continuing to evolve in the way they interact with brands in the digital age.

Not surprisingly, word of mouth (28%), company websites (25%) and in-store experience (18%) weighed most heavily on strengthening or eroding brand affinity. But given the growing reliance on digital communications, it was notable that only 7% of respondents felt their brand experience was affected via such social networks as Facebook or Twitter.
Social Media: All Bark and No Bite?
The smaller than expected role of social media was consistent across other aspects of brand interaction, including communications, where an overwhelming 48% of those surveyed prefer email over any other form of communication, including phone (19%), website (18%), in-person (13%), chat (2%), texting (0%), and social networking sites (0%). However, customer comfort levels with the digital experience overall is high, with 56% most likely to be at their computer and 10% on a mobile device when communicating with or buying from a company. Only 24% are more likely to interact in person with businesses in stores or via the phone (10%).
Personalized Experiences vs. Privacy
Striking a new chord on the issue of privacy in the digital era, 69% of those surveyed expressed an overwhelming eagerness in allowing the collection of their personal data in exchange for more customized service. This includes the ability and willingness of a company to own up to and right a mistake, with 97% ready to forgive poor service as long as the company quickly corrects the problem with an explanation, apology, credit or other response.
In terms of preventing mistakes in the first place, businesses are advised not to keep the customer waiting, with 45% naming wait times in the store, on the phone or online as their biggest customer complaint. 32% said they were most put off by unhelpful company reps. Other recipes for bad experiences include: inferior websites (9%), too much email (9%), untargeted promotions (4%), and unresponsiveness on Twitter, Facebook and other social networks (1%).
“Our new Kentico Customer Experience Survey shows businesses need to use the tools that are available to them in order to optimize the digital experience for customers, including the delivery of helpful websites, responsive service, and personalized interactions,” said Kentico CEO and Founder Petr Palas. “While seemingly small in comparison to other modes of interaction, from what we’re seeing, I believe social media’s role in helping to shape brand affinity will grow dramatically as more businesses and customers embrace social platforms to create and maintain long-lasting relationships.”
The Kentico Customer Experience Survey was conducted online with participants from the US and UK.
About Kentico CMS
Kentico CMS is an enterprise Web Content Management System and Customer Experience Management System that provides a complete set of features for building websites, intranets, community sites and e-commerce solutions on the Microsoft ASP.NET platform on premise or in the cloud. It supports mobile websites, SEO, document management, online marketing tools, multilingual websites, multisite management and it ships with 70 modules, 400 configurable Web parts and source code available. 
Kentico CMS customers can expect a highly flexible platform with a uniquely easy-to-use user interface. It’s currently used by more than 16,000 websites in 90 countries.  The clients include Microsoft, Guinness, Chiquita, Vodafone, O2, Orange, Brussels Airlines, Mazda, Ford, Subaru, Isuzu, Samsung, Gibson, ESPN, DKNY, Abbott Labs, Medibank, and others.
About Kentico Software
Kentico Software ( helps clients create successful dynamic websites, intranets, community sites and
e-commerce solutions using Kentico CMS for ASP.NET. It's committed to deliver a full-featured, enterprise-class, stable and scalable Web Content Management solution on the Microsoft .NET platform. Founded in 2004, Kentico is headquartered in the Czech Republic and has offices in the United States (Nashua, NH and Seattle, WA), United Kingdom (Reading) and Sydney (Australia). Since its inception, Kentico has continued to rapidly expand the Kentico CMS user base worldwide. Its partner network consists of 1,200 partners in 80+ countries. Kentico Software is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. In 2010, Kentico was named the fastest growing technology company in the Czech Republic in the Deloitte Technology FAST 50 awards. In 2012, Kentico Software was named global Microsoft Partner of the Year Finalist in the ISV/Software Solutions Industry category.
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