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Industry Research : Businesses are Failing to Deliver on Customer Service
The UK expects the highest customer service in Europe, according to a research report "The Omnichannel Customer Service Gap," released by Zendesk, a provider of cloud-based software for better customer service.
"Omnichannel" refers to a consumer’s customer service journey across all shopping channels; such as email, phone, chat or instore. Globally, 67% of consumers admit to using different platforms before deciding on a purchase, with 64% expecting real time assistance regardless of which channel. 78% state that a company’s reputation for customer service is important to them when choosing to buy from a particular brand. 37% say that they increasingly expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative, regardless of the channel and nearly half (47%) expect to be able to return goods or purchases through a different channel than the one they purchased from, for example buying online but returning in store. But despite all those expectations, only 7% are extremely satisfied with the omni channel customer service offered to them by brands and the vast majority (87%) believes that brands need to work harder to create a seamless customer experience.
Keeping the UK customer satisfied
A large proportion (80%) of UK customers feel that brands pay more attention to generating sales across the channels than providing integrated customer service , compared to 67% in Germany and 65% in France, revealing a disconnect in the relationship between UK brands and their consumers. For those brands that do get it right, customers are likely to reward them with loyalty. For brands that simplify their customer service and resolve problems with minimal hassle, 82% of respondents say that they would use the brand or company again and 62% state that they would recommend the brand or company to friends and family.
Speed of response and resolution also rates high on the global agenda with almost all of the respondent’s ranking speed of response (89%) and resolution (89%) as the most important aspects of customer service, closely followed by having a friendly representative to deal with their query (82%). Yet in UK just one in three shoppers (35% and 36%) rated speed of response and resolution as "good" or "excellent". Yet in the UK just one in three shoppers (35% and 36%) rated speed of response and resolution as "good" or "excellent", which is the lowest of all countries surveyed.
"The customer journey doesn’t end at the online checkout or at the till in-store," said Nick Peart, vice president of marketing EMEA at Zendesk. "Brands are failing to match their omnichannel efforts in sales with their customer service experiences. To meet the growing demands of today’s connected consumers they need to create seamless customer service across every touchpoint within the customer channel to succeed in business now and in the future."
Age with an attitude
The research reveals that perseverance is strong amongst shoppers and is something that varies by age. Nearly half (45%) say they will try any channel open to them and wait as long as it takes to get their query revealed. In terms of age groups the older the consumer, the more patience they have. Of those aged 18-24 41% say they are more likely to be persistent, in comparison 48% of 55 -64 year olds.
Patience is a virtue
When it comes to complaining, the research revealed that globally shoppers fall into three distinct categories – 23% are ‘less’ tolerant of problems with products/ services, 60% have an ‘average’ level of tolerance and 17% are ‘more’ tolerant in their propensity to complain.
The Japanese have been revealed as the most tolerant nation, with only 8% of multichannel shoppers falling into the ‘patient’ category while the Brazilians are the most ‘impatient ’with every 2 in 5 multichannel shoppers falling into the category.
But it’s still good to talk
Poor customer service across channels globally is leading consumers to use phone support as a failsafe communication channel. Because of the perception that the phone has the quickest response, 54 %of consumers in the UK and globally still use it as their first contact for support. 71% will revert to using their phone if an e mail fails to resolve their issue. When an email is unanswered, 71% will then phone; when social media is unanswered, 55% will then phone; and if the phone is unanswered, 54% will try to call again.
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Published: Monday, September 2, 2013