Posted 04 November 2014

The Role of Gender in Customer Experience

Gender blog1

Do men and women feel the same when it comes to the customer experience?

There is a presumption that gender plays a large role in forming personal preferences on the customer journey. However, statistics show that when it comes to customer experience, the gender gap isn’t as wide as expected, with only 2-4 percentage points between male and female respondents. Despite this, there are still some areas in which the buyer’s journey for men and women differ.

Timing is everything – Male and female customers often have different goals for a customer service phone call. Women are more inclined to stay on the phone for a longer period, for added reassurance, while many men just want to get the phone call over and done with. This is reflective of the typical shopping habits of men and women in a retail environment, with women liking to browse, while men prefer to get in and get out as quickly as possible.

Handoffs are tricky – A ResponseTap survey on call-based marketing automation found that more female respondents (62%) than men (54%) were less inclined to speak to more than one person on the phone, disliking being passed from pillar to post. Female consumers are more loyal to people, rather than products. Therefore, after building a rapport and relationship with an operator, they’d prefer not to begin again with a new rep from another department.

Mind-set matters – Most men consider shopping a chore, while many women consider it a treat. Women want to explore, find a good deal and feel good after the buying experience. Therefore, it’s often easier to cross-sell or upsell to women, offering to introduce them to new options. Operators can take more time to ask them questions, uncovering pain points and offering products and services to solve their problems. On the other hand, upselling to men by offering them anything more than what they’ve requested should be done quickly.

Differences in loyalty – Some researchers claim that men make more loyal customers than women, while another study conducted by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania shows that women become more loyal when the customer experience is flawed. When a woman encounters a problem while shopping, her loyalty falls by 25%, but a man’s loyalty drops by nearly 40% when he encounters a problem.

Referrals are key – According to the Wharton study, men and women are four times more likely to share an outstanding customer experience than a negative experience. ResponseTap’s survey also revealed that if given good customer service, 83% of women would be more likely to pass it on to friends and family in conversation, compared to 72% of men. 

Privacy is a concern – More women (58%) than men (51%) would rather brands did not use their computer searches to inform their customer service or sales call – and more men (26%) than women (23%) would be relieved by the use of call tracking analytics, as it would save time and hassle while on the call. According to a Pew Internet privacy study, women are more conservative with what information they are willing to share online and whom they share it.

Statistically, there isn’t a huge difference in preferences when it comes to customer experience for men versus women. However, there are some nuances in play that should not be ignored. Making tiny adjustments when selling to male and female consumers could mean the difference between making one sale and landing a long-time loyal customer.

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