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Industry Research : Survey Shows Self-Service, AI, Redefining How Consumers View Customer Service
Customer service is in decline - at least traditional customer service as we know it is. The number of people who contacted customer service over the phone declined 10 percent in the last two years and contact with customer service overall has dropped seven percent over the same period according to the latest findings from the 2017 Aspect Consumer Experience Index. What hasn’t declined, however, is the number of consumers who stopped doing business with companies because of poor customer service. That figure rose to 54 percent last year, up from 49 percent the year before, with the number of Millennials jumping eight percent. Basic lack of effectiveness – the ability to resolve issues to their satisfaction was the leading cause of defection.
Consumers expressed a notable improvement and rise in interest with their experiences on new/emerging channels. 77 percent of consumers rated text-based customer service experiences using AI favorably, a 10 percent increase from the year before. And a full third of consumers and 52 percent of Millennials said they would like to see all customer service done through self-service AI.
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"The insight from the survey results is not just the growing preference for self-service over agent-assisted interactions. More interesting is the possibility that consumers aren’t viewing these self-managed experiences as customer service the way brands define it," said Jim Freeze, Chief Marketing Officer, Aspect. "It only becomes defined as ‘customer service’ by the customer when a complex interaction requires human assistance and they have to engage a live person. It’s clear from the findings that increasingly, consumers are not giving brands a second chance. There has never been a more critical time for companies to respond to the growing consumer desire for digital channels over traditional voice and IVR interaction."
One of the clear opportunities for brands is addressing customer experience effectiveness. 45 percent of consumers in the survey said they didn’t care if an online purchase or customer service interaction is performed by a chatbot or a live agent as long it is handled quickly and accurately. Plus, consumers are more than willing to pay more for better customer service. 52 percent of American consumers would pay more for guaranteed good customer service while 75 percent would pay more for exceptional customer service.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: Aspect Software
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