With the accelerated growth of mobile and digital technologies, consumers are engaging with more channels for customer service than ever before. Yet consumers say it’s still so hard to navigate and resolve customer service issues across those channels.
The convergence of digital technology and customer care has been a boon for always-on consumers eager to manage interactions with companies on their own terms. There was a time when companies controlled when consumers communicated with them, using business hours to help manage the call volume of lean customer service departments. Today, consumers are in the driver’s seat with 24/7 access to communication channels that allow them to share queries, comments and complaints with companies (and the world) when it best suits them.
Consumers have little tolerance for multiple contacts, transfers, long hold times, slow responses and ineffective issue resolution. Customers want easy.
Customer Effort – Less is More
Less customer effort equates to more customer loyalty. Consumers are in a time crunch. They crave ease of use and efficiency and reward brands that give it to them. With 44% of consumers reporting that companies do not make it “easy” to contact them with a customer service issue or inquiry, companies have a big opportunity to do better.
+ Not One and Done
While first contact resolution is still the goal, more than half of consumers surveyed (55%) experience the need to use two or more communications channels before an issue is resolved. While they are asking brands to make it easier to connect, consumers are actually working harder to resolve their issues.
Consumers are eager for prompt issue resolution and the younger they are, the faster they expect it. Four in ten Millennials (40%) will try another channel within an hour if their issue is not adequately addressed.
+ Hold the Phone
Almost nine in ten of consumers (89%) feel that telephone customer service either meets expectations (60%) or exceeds expectations (29%). Consumers report being most successful getting an issue resolved on first contact when using the telephone (60%).
- Online chat is gaining in popularity among consumers as a fast and efficient way of reaching brands. Almost one in five consumers (18%) turn to online chat as an alternative to telephone for fast resolution of customer service issues. Not surprisingly, Millennials are most likely to use this channel with 27% suggesting they get the fastest customer service via online chat.
- Social media continues to grow as a communications channel with 77% of consumers saying they use these channels as much or more than they did one year ago. Yet brand responsiveness remains surprisingly low. About one in five consumers (21%) never receive a response when they contact a brand via social media or text.
Want to Connect With Companies
- Consumers are eager to be heard. Eight in ten consumers (81%) report that they contacted customer service in the past year. This is an opportunity for companies to create relationships and build loyalty with their customers.