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Industry Research : TCN Consumer Survey Finds Americans Overwhelmingly Prefer to Interact with a Live Person When Dealing with CS

#contactcenterworld, @tcn

TCN, Inc., a global provider of a comprehensive cloud-based call center platform for enterprises, contact centers, BPOs and collection agencies, released the results of its inaugural "Consumer Insights about Customer Service" survey.

The national survey, conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by TCN, reveals Americans overwhelmingly prefer to interact with a live person when dealing with customer service centers. Furthermore, when waiting to speak to a customer service representative by phone, they are willing to wait on hold for six minutes on average, but the average actual wait time is three times longer, averaging 17.4 minutes. The survey also finds companies that prioritize good customer service are likely to be rewarded by consumers with increased brand loyalty and positive online reviews.

We All Need the Human Touch

In the survey, nearly 7 in 10 respondents (69%) said talking to a live agent by phone is one of their top three preferred methods of communication with a company’s customer service department; 5 in 10 (54%) said email; 4 in 10 (46%) said an online chat with a live agent. When asked to pick the top three most important qualities of a customer service agent, 60% selected "willingness to help;" 60% chose "ability to solve my issue;" and 58% indicated "knowledge about the product or service." Fifty-four percent said either "pleasant to talk to" or "having a compassionate attitude." By age groups, Millennials (18-24) value a compassionate attitude (28%) twice as much as Baby Boomers (57-75) (13%).

Cue the Dreaded Hold Music

Americans are willing to wait on hold, but not for long. When calling a company’s customer service department, Americans said they are willing to wait on hold for six minutes, but the actual wait time on average is three times longer. One-third (34%) said they’re willing to wait on hold between five to seven minutes, an average of six minutes overall, with women (15%) twice as likely as men (8%) to be willing to wait 10 minutes or longer. However, the average actual wait time on hold is 17.4 minutes, with 2 in 3 (62%) saying they’ve waited on hold longer than 10 minutes and nearly one-quarter (23%) saying they’ve waited on hold for 30 minutes or longer. Women are more patient -- they’re twice as likely (31%) as men (13%) to wait on hold more than 30 minutes.

Gold Star Customer Service is Rewarded

In the survey, consumers said they are likely to reward companies with good customer service with increased brand loyalty and positive online reviews. After a positive customer service experience, 3 in 10 (33%) said they post an online review. Conversely, after a poor customer service experience, 4 in 10 (42%) said they have posted an online review, with Gen Z (18-24) consumers the most likely to post a review after a poor experience (65% are somewhat likely and very likely). Younger Americans are also more likely to abandon a brand after a poor experience -- 65% of 18-24 and 61% of 25-40 said very or somewhat likely; only 33% of 41-56 and 19% of 57+ said very likely or somewhat likely.

Other key findings include:

Customer Service is Quite Good: When asked for an adjective when hearing the term "customer service," 65% provided positive words, like knowledgeable, helpful, caring and sincere; only 14% provided adjectives that were negative in connotation.

Accessibility is Key: When asked about the most important features when contacting a company’s customer service department, 55% said "easy to get through to a live agent" and 52% said "available 24 hours/day"; 41% said "a website chat with a live agent;" 40% picked "multiple options for communicating" (i.e., by text, email, etc.).

Biggest Fear is Going Back to the Start: When asked to name the top three frustrations when calling a company’s customer service department, Americans are frustrated by inefficient customer service that wastes time -- 68% said "waiting on hold for a long time and then getting disconnected and having to start all over again;" 64% said "having to talk to several people/departments to get an issue resolved;" 59% said "the amount of time it will take to get my issue resolved."

Call Me (Back) Maybe: If there is a long wait time when calling a company’s customer service department, call backs from a queue are preferred; 37% said they would prefer to be put in a queue and called back when an agent is available; 24% would continue to wait on hold; 20% would hang up and try another time.

Most Are Satisfied When Dealing with Healthcare Organizations and Financial Institutions: More than 6 in 10 (64%) said they were extremely or somewhat satisfied when contacting healthcare organizations (hospitals, doctors offices, labs, therapists, insurance, etc.); 1 in 10 (10%) said they were somewhat or very dissatisfied. When contacting financial institutions (banks, student loan organizations, mortgage companies, car loans, etc.), nearly 7 in 10 (68%) are extremely or somewhat satisfied; less than 10% (8%) are somewhat or extremely dissatisfied.

Can You Hear Me Now? Cable and wireless companies need to do a lot better in their customer service. When asked "what company is the worst to get a hold of for customer service?," respondents named companies or organizations in the cable & wireless industry (43%), state and federal government agencies (23%) and banks/financial services (8%).

Cloudy with a Chance of a Text Notification: Among notifications by text messages currently received by respondents, the three most popular are weather updates; notices of deliveries or to pick up an order at a store; and banking/account balances/bill pay.

"Unknown Number" and "Scam Likely" are Frequent Callers: One-third (30%) said they receive between 6-10 phone calls from an unknown number each week; more than one-third (35%) said they receive more than 10 phone calls each week; nearly 10 percent (8%) said they receive 21 or more phone calls each week.

Stranger Danger!: One-half said if they don’t know who’s calling, they are unlikely to pick up. Fifty percent are very unlikely and somewhat unlikely to answer a phone call from an unknown number; women (58%) are much more unlikely than men (39%) to answer a call from an unknown number.

Keeping Your (Social Security and Credit) Cards Close to Your Chest: When providing private or sensitive information, like a credit card number, account number, social security number, etc., over an automated phone system, 41% said they will only give information to a live agent or they never provide that kind of information over the phone; 38% said they enter the number in the keypad.

"Our survey provides a detailed look at consumers’ attitudes about dealing with customer service and contact centers. The results clearly show that, despite the ubiquity of technology in our daily lives and the automation of many business processes, you can’t take people out of customer service," said McKay Bird, chief marketing officer at TCN. "The survey also uncovers key trends about what consumers want most from customer service centers and insights about what doing a good job specifically looks like. Although contact centers have come a long way over the past three decades, there’s still room for improvement, and our survey highlights several key areas on which to focus."

Survey Methodology

Commissioned by TCN, the 2021 "Consumer Insights About Customer Service" survey was conducted by OnePoll, a marketing research company specializing in online quantitative research and polling, between May 14-21, 2021. Feedback was obtained from 1,000 U.S. adults.

#contactcenterworld, @tcn

Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Source: https://www.businesswire.com


About TCN:
Company LogoA Global Provider in Call Center Technology: TCN is a global provider of a comprehensive, cloud-based call center platform for enterprises, contact centers, business process outsourcing firms (BPOs) and collection agencies. Founded in 1999, TCN supports billions of interactions every year between call center agents and customers. A Comprehensive Platform: TCN’s flagship cloud-based contact center platform, TCN Operator, features a holistic set of easy-to-use, automated agent tools and apps for omnichannel communications, workforce engagement, compliance & data management, integration & automation, intelligence, reporting & analytics and collaboration & accessibility. TCN’s secure platform integrates seamlessly with leading APIs and is accessible to agents with visual impairments.
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Today's Tip of the Day - Make Self Service A Breeze

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Published: Wednesday, September 1, 2021

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2021 Buyers Guide Automated Call Distributors

 
1.) 
Call Center Studio

Call Center Studio
Call Center Studio is the world’s first call center built on Google and is one of the most secure and stable systems with some of the industry’s best reporting. It is one of the most full-featured enterprise grade systems (with the most calling features, one of the best call distribution, outbound dialing features and integrations—including IVR, AI Speech Recognition, blended inbound/outbound calling and includes Google’s new Dialogflow and Speech API. Call Center Studio is the absolute easiest to use (with a 10 minute setup), and is the price performance leader with lower equipment cost and less setup time.

2.) 
Teckinfo Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

InterDialog UCCS
InterDialog UCCS inbound call center software caters to all incoming customer requests. These incoming requests can come through any channel of customer’s choice e.g. voice, video, email, chat, WhatsApp, facebook etc.. company page or from an integrated website chat. Using InterDailog UCCS call centers can respond to inquiries of the customers and they can also register the complaints of customer as a customer support desk.

3.) 
voiptime

Voiptime Contact Center
Our contact center solution allows processing the high volume of client requests from different channels (voice, webchat, email, web callbacks), running massive outbound dialing campaigns, and makes all call center operations visible for management. Voiptime Cloud Contact Center is a professional calling solution for outbound and inbound calls. It’s a plug-and-play software that immediately increases the productivity of your call center department. With the help of our solution you are able to:
- Automate lead prospecting and have 4x more live conversations daily;
- Increase the agent occupancy up to 80-90% with the help of the fastest Predictive dialer;
- Smooth out the peaks of calls by...
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