There is a huge opportunity for companies to exceed expectations in delighting their customers, with only 14% of customers expecting to be wowed by brands, according to new survey findings by software company, Freshworks.

Further, the majority (77%) of consumers are willing to exchange information for a more personalised, faster and values-driven experience.

“Customers rule the world, and many of them have shown empathy by adjusting expectations for companies over the trials and tribulations of the pandemic,” Freshworks chief marketing officer, Stacey Epstein said.

“We are seeing now that many will exchange information about everything from personal values to salary information for personalised service that improves their experience. The takeaway for companies is that they can no longer separate their product from the customer experience; instead, it is a business imperative for companies to make it easy to delight their customers through thoughtful, easy and speedy interactions that reflect customer values.”

More than half (56%) of consumers said a brand’s customer service often does not match the image they portray. With increased discussions around social justice and sustainability, people are identifying with brands based on causes they care about with 63% of consumers expecting brands to consider their personal values when communicating.

While 23% consumers won’t share personal information to improve their customer service interactions, the rest are willing to share a range of data in exchange for a better experience, including relationship information (25%), browsing/purchasing data (24%), values they care about (21%), and salary (10%).

While 71% consumers would rather speak with a person than use self-service technologies, 39% would rather go the self-service route than have to speak to a company using any other channel. One in four (26%) don’t enjoy communicating with companies at all, while nearly half (49%) want to hear more from them. Email ranked highest for making a complaint (31%), tracking an order (28%), providing feedback (24%) and product information/support (22%).