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Lithium Launches Inaugural Customer Expectations Survey

Study shows how online experiences are essential to American life; Americans evenly split on whether to give up good sex or good Internet if forced to choose

SAN FRANCISCO – May 20, 2014 - Lithium Technologies today released data from a survey conducted online on their behalf by Harris Poll in April among over 2,100 American adults who are online that sheds light on how the Internet may be changing the country’s expectations and behaviors. The survey covered a broad spectrum of online behaviors and attitudes, exposing what Americans want from their online experiences and the brands with which they do business online.

“We know we are living in an age of extreme expectations,” said Rob Tarkoff, President and CEO of Lithium. “This comprehensive survey gives us a snapshot of those expectations today. Any company or brand that thinks it knows how to market, sell, or service in this era of extreme expectations should pay close attention to this data and others like it. Customers today are fundamentally changed—brands will have to change with them.”

Some key findings:

  • Americans overwhelmingly rely on the Web to research big purchases
    • 81% use an online source to research a big purchase
    • Two in three Americans (67%) use 2 or more online sources for their research
    • Nearly 1 in 10 (9%) of 18-34 year olds use 6 or more sources!
  • Two-thirds of Americans (67%) tend to call an “800” or toll free number for help as a last resort
  • Consumers are going online to request help on a product or service—and want responses fast
    • Almost 9 in 10 (87%) have ever requested help online
    • Two-thirds (66%) expect a same-day response to their online request
    • 43% expect a response within an hour
    • 14% expect a response in a lightning fast five minutes or less
  • People may be more likely to go online to praise than complain
    • 61% of Americans disagree that they are more likely to go online to complain about a product or service than to praise it
    • But younger Americans seem to complain at higher rates than older Americans
      • 35-44 year olds are more likely than those age 45+ to go online to complain than to praise (46% vs. 35%, respectively)
  • Americans give Internet a fundamental place in their lives--and are fairly evenly split on whether to give up good sex or good Internet if forced to choose
    • 48% of Americans would give up good sex; 52% would give up good Internet
    • But age and gender seem to play a role in how Americans responded to this question
      • 57% of US women would give up good sex versus only 40% of US men who would do so

Lithium has created an infographic that summarizes the key findings from this survey. The infographic is available for download here.

This Lithium Customer Expectations Survey from Nielsen reflects similar research findings Lithium uncovered in a Millward Brown study last October regarding customer expectations unique to their Twitter experiences. A summary of that study is available online at

Lithium will release international data covering this United States survey plus data from Australia, France, Germany, and Great Britain in June.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Lithium Technologies on April 24-28, 2014 among 2,130 adults ages 18 and older.This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Lithium media contacts.

About Lithium Technologies

Lithium software helps companies reinvent how they connect with their customers. Lithium works with more than 300 of the world's best brands— including AT&T, Best Buy, Indosat, Sephora, Skype and Telstra — to respond on social networks and to build trusted content on a community they own. The 100% SaaS-based Lithium Social Customer Experience™ platform enables brands to build and engage vibrant customer communities to drive sales, reduce service costs, accelerate innovation and grow brand advocacy. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and our own community. Lithium is privately held with corporate headquarters in San Francisco and offices across Europe, Asia and Australia.

The Lithium® logo is a registered Service Mark of Lithium Technologies. All trademarks and product names are the property of their respective owners.

Lithium Media Contacts
+1 (415) 217-4963