As customer service and customer experience become key differentiators for brands and organizations across all industries, it has never been more important to know as much as you can about your customers and their expectations for service and engagement across channels.
The annual U.S. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report shows that consumers now regularly use at least four different channels when interacting with a brand or organization for customer-related questions and issues. In addition to the growing number of channels being used, channel preference is also changing based on the customer’s perceived value for time spent. For example, customers in this year’s survey rated live chat just behind the telephone as the assisted channel they most prefer. This is most likely in part due to this channel’s ability to provide prompt, personalized online assistance for complex questions, many times while the customer is doing something else or does not have the ability to wait on hold.
With more than half of the consumers surveyed saying that their customer service interaction now begins online, this year’s survey notes fast-growing expectations for online self-service, mobile and social engagement. Think customers only engage on social to complain about brands? You’ll be surprised by this year’s survey results.
The 2015 U.S. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report also takes a look at what consumers view as the most important aspects of a good customer experience, as well as the most frustrating aspects of a poor experience. This year’s survey shows that 98 percent of U.S. consumers say that customer service is very important or some-what important in their choice of, or loyalty to, a brand.
Service has never been more important and customer expectations are on the rise. As brands and organizations, it’s time to set a baseline for the consistent delivery of satisfying service across channels, and work from there to become a leader on this increasingly competitive battlefield.