Increase in Channel Choices Not Yet Improving Customer Relationships


Survey results from Aspect Software reveal continued frustrations with companies’ customer service.

The survey found 46% of people say they do not experience issue resolution when contacting customer care. Why so disgruntled? This could be in part because 64% agree they do not feel they are treated like valued customers when they interact with customer service. Also, companies seem to have failed to quell some of the largest gripes, like being directed to an automated response (67%) and having to repeat themselves (65%).

Consumers are demanding more, including choice of the channel of communication, from traditional voice to social media. However, clear disconnects exist between consumer expectations and companies’ use of multiple channels. For example, 42% of survey respondents agreed that they’d rather have companies use social media for good customer service than to promote their products; only 1% feel social media provides the best customer experience. This is an indication that most companies have not started to embrace social media as a preferred channel for customer care.

Call them frustrated:

  • Of those who have sought help on social channels, only 7% say that these channels provide the fastest resolution and the best customer experience.
  • However, in an effort to quickly get their issue resolved while interacting with customer care, a larger number admit they have threatened to share their experience with others (16%) or broadcast their frustration through social media (9%).

“Unfortunately, most companies have been slow to respond to fundamental shifts in their relationships with their customers, and this is part of why the experience of too many is falling short,” says Jim Freeze, SVP and chief marketing officer at Aspect.

“Expanding channels is increasingly allowing customers to take more control of the care conversation, but it has also increased their service expectations. This has enabled an environment where people are not afraid to air their grievances in the most public of forums. This not only creates customer experience challenges, but more importantly it offers opportunity for organisations to deliver multi-channel service, including new channels like social, that consistently meet customer demands.”    

However, when it comes to meeting customer expectations, there is some good news for brands who do offer multiple channels, including phone, email, online chat and social media, for customer service:

  • 77% of Americans think companies that offer multiple channels as part of their customer service are easier to do business with and 74 % say they provide better service.
  • What’s more, 67% agree they feel more in control of their relationship with a company when it offers multiple channels for customer service.

Jim Freeze

“Simply providing access on multiple channels is not enough,” adds Freeze.

As the ‘multi-channel customer experience’ – where an interaction can start on one channel and seamlessly transition to another – becomes the new gold standard, contact centres are emerging as the new centre of the customer experience. Companies must align their people, processes and the growing number of company–customer touch points to lessen frustrations and deliver consistent and remarkable customer experiences.”

Published On: 20th Mar 2013 - Last modified: 22nd Mar 2017
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