Customer Experience – What Consumers Have to Say
The phone is dead, right? Wrong. While omnichannel experiences are vital, consumers still turn to the phone when it comes to getting customer service, especially when the issue is more urgent. This is one of the key findings from a new Five9 survey aimed at understanding customer behavior and preferences when it comes to customer service.
For the third year in a row, Five9 and Zogby Analytics surveyed over 1,000 U.S.-based consumers across a range of age groups, as well as income and education brackets, in order to better understand how consumers view customer service and support and how it impacts their behavior and purchasing decisions. The Five9 annual “Customer Service Index” provides validated data that CXOs can use and act upon to improve their organizations’ customer service efforts.
The survey covered a range of customer service topics, including channel preferences, the use of past purchase history, attitudes about chatbots, and much more.
Surveying all types of consumers, from all age groups, Five9 and Zogby asked participants their views about customer service and loyalty factors, including:
- Communication channels preferences for customer support
- The impact of customer service on loyalty
- Perceptions of product and service quality and willingness to do business
- What makes a good - or bad - customer experience
Some of the results are somewhat obvious to those of us who’ve been in the customer service space for a while, but some of the key points bear repeating, as many businesses continue to struggle when it comes to meeting customer service needs and expectations.
Today’s digital consumers are savvier than ever, with high expectations for customer care. By understanding consumers’ preferences and expectations, businesses can use current technologies to better serve customers and meet these changing expectations.
Survey Key Findings
Most businesses recognize the need to provide exceptional customer service experiences, but unfortunately, many haven’t made as much progress as expected. According to the survey, while 37% of survey respondents feel that their contact center experiences over the past year have improved. 42% found no change in their contact center experiences, and 15% feel that their experiences have gotten worse. This should be a wake-up call for organizations, as more work needs to be done to improve contact center experiences.
When asked about the top influencers impacting the decision on whether to do business with a company, virtually all survey respondents (96%) indicated that a positive customer service experience is at least somewhat likely to influence their decision to do business with a company. Conversely, only 28% say they will continue to do business with a company where they had a negative customer service experience, while 66% are somewhat or very unlikely to do business with them again.
Other key findings I found most intriguing include:
- The phone is still king across all generations of consumers. Chat has still not gotten the attention we’d expect at this point, even for younger generations
- Consumers are comfortable with companies using past purchase history if doing so ensures a better customer experience
- The biggest no-no for contact centers is passing the customer from one agent to another
- Today’s digital consumers have high expectations when it comes to speed of issue resolution. The majority of consumers expect interaction resolution within 30 minutes or less.
I’ll be discussing these and other key survey findings in a webinar on Wednesday, September 18, with Five9’s Michael Rose. We’ll cover:
- The most preferred channels for today’s consumers
- Customer experience changes over the last year
- Turnoffs that drive your customers away
- Best customer service practices
In the world of digital transformation, organizations are using more and more digital tools to improve their business processes. As the front door to customers, the contact center should be the starting point for deploying digital tools and technologies. Understanding consumer preferences, as well as industry best practices, will help guide business decisions when it comes to customer support and the contact center.