Consumers are looking for more of a human touch in their customer experience. PwC’s report, “Experience Is Everything,” found that two thirds of consumers feel their interaction with companies has lost the human element, and three quarters want more human interaction in the future, not less. PwC drew its findings from an international survey of 15,000 consumers in 12 countries.

PwC found that while price and quality remain primary drivers in purchasing decisions, 73 percent of the survey’s respondents say a positive experience is among the key factors that influence their brand loyalties. Furthermore, they said they would pay up to 16 percent more on products and services for better customer service.

“CMOs, take note: Our research revealed that 65 percent of U.S. consumers find a positive brand experience to be more influential than great advertising,” says David Clarke, PwC principal and experience consulting leader. “The ‘Experience Economy’ has ushered in a new customer experience mindset, steering brands beyond emphasizing products and services to selling rich consumer experiences. Our findings quantify the potential return on investment in providing a quality customer experience of upwards of 16 percent.”

The survey also identified how bad experiences drive consumers away. Of the consumers surveyed, 60 percent would stop doing business with a company due to unfriendly service, 46 percent because of employees’ lack of knowledge and half because they don’t trust the company. In fact, 32 percent say they would walk away from a brand they love after just one bad experience.

As for what consumers are looking for in their customer experience, the survey found that speed and efficiency (80 percent), knowledgeable and helpful employees (78 percent) and convenience (77 percent) matter the most. The majority of consumers (52 percent) would pay more for greater speed and efficiency; 43 percent would pay more for greater convenience and 41 percent would pay more for knowledgeable and helpful employees.

Clarke adds, “Brands won’t be able to solve their [customer experience] problems with technology alone—it’s just an enabler, facilitating the connection between a product or service and consumers. Instead, they must find a way to create an experience that blends consumer demand for tech with their strong desire for authentic, personal interaction. They don’t need to look far, though—employees hold the key to creating and sustaining great interactions with consumers.”

For more on the report and its findings, click here.