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Digital reality check – Your client still prefers the personal touch

Globally, 93% of consumers still prefer talking over “tapping” when it comes to sharing their brand experience or seeking recommendations, according to a consumer study released by global measurement company Nielsen.

Nielsen’s Real Life vs. Digital Life report shows that although consumers are actively engaging online, word-of-mouth or real-life conversations have a stronger influence on consumers’ minds and, therefore, their purchasing decisions.

According to the survey, 77% of respondents from South Africa confirmed that word of mouth influenced them “highly” versus 65% who were induced by social media, which included all types of interactions that consumers have online, including traditional social media sites and websites.

“With social networks rising in popularity over the last decade it is no surprise their use, spread among all generations, is leaking into consumer’s everyday life,” Sue Temple, vice-president of Global Consumer Insights at Nielsen mentioned. “Nevertheless, the quality of digital communication hasn’t developed at the same pace, and having been burned too many times, when dealing with fake news, frauds and data breaches consumers respond with less trust to information shared via new media.”

Globally, the reasons to go digital vary across the regions:

46% go online when they seek recommendations
42% find it interesting to read something online
38% wish to share their own experience

For South Africans, top of the list for reasons for going online were:

When they found it interesting to read something online (46%),
Sought recommendations (44%)
Shared the experience (36%)

The report therefore indicated that “real life conversations remain consumers’ comfort zone.”

As any experienced financial adviser knows, recommendations from clients to new prospects are by far the most effective way of growing your client base. All the more reason to make client care a priority.

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