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What Makes a Good Customer Experience in 2021?

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Kim Austin Sr. Content Strategist

You have a hefty list of choices when it comes to identifying ways to improve the experience for your customers. New interaction technologies, improved workforce management, better use of data — the technology is always evolving and providing new opportunities to explore and implement.   

But what do your customers value most in their interactions with you? According to the Five9 Customer Service Index 2021: Consumer Report, it’s simple. Customers want information and answers. And yes, they want it quickly.  

The factors that consumers rate highest as markers of a good customer-service experience are:   

  • 33% the representative supplies the right answer (even if it takes more time) 

  • 26% the rep can answer their question quickly 

  • 20% they don’t have to wait long to reach a rep  

It’s helpful if your reps have information about the customer and interaction history, but consumers aren’t prioritizing it over simply getting the answers they need — with just 6% of respondents ranking it highest.  

So, how can you deliver? Provide your agents with information they need to solve consumers’ questions and issues. That means empowering agents with FAQs and suggested responses, AI-based agent assistance, real-time access to subject-matter experts, and so on. With the right tools, you can improve first-call resolution (FCR) rates and increase customer satisfaction. Integrating your contact-center systems with your unified communications capabilities is a good way to quicken access to subject-matter experts and others outside the contact center. 

What Makes a Bad Customer Experience? 

If you’re steering the boat, you not only need to know what direction to head, but what to avoid. The best way to annoy a consumer? The top response for what makes a negative experience, at 34%, is “getting passed from one rep to another.” After that, the top three rounds out with waiting a long time to reach a rep (26%) and unhelpful cueing/on-hold systems (13%).   

And if you’re working with Canadian and UK consumers, you really want to focus on FCR because their annoyance factor for getting passed along is much higher, at 49% and 45% respectively. Interestingly, although respondents in Italy prioritize quick access to a rep (31%), they’re more forgiving about speaking to multiple people (17%). I can almost hear my Sicilian uncle saying, “I don’t care who gives me the answer as long as I get it — now.”  

It comes back to empowering agents with information and access. The more resources your agents have at the ready, the less likely they’ll have to pass a customer along to someone else. And fewer frustrated consumers mean fewer stressful encounters for your agents. It’s a pretty simple equation: Happier people generally provide more positive interactions.  

Dig Deeper 

Download the Five9 Customer Service Index 2021 report to get more detail on the regional perception of customer service from consumers.  

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Kim Austin Sr. Content Strategist

Call 1-800-553-8159 to learn more about Five9