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Industry Research : U.S. Companies Losing Customers As Consumers Demand More Human Interaction
83 percent of U.S. consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The report also found that 52 percent of consumers have switched provider in the past year due to poor customer service, with banks, retailers, and cable and satellite television providers being the worst offenders. In the U.S., the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service is $1.6 trillion.
The Accenture Strategy report, ‘Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement’, is based on the company’s eleventh annual Global Consumer Pulse Research, which gauges the experiences and attitudes of 24,489 consumers around the world about marketing, sales and customer services. 2,003 U.S. consumers were included in the sample.
Human interaction remains a vital component of customer satisfaction, even in the ‘digital age’. 83 percent of U.S. consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues and get advice (77 percent). Almost half (45 percent) of consumers say they are even willing to pay a higher price for goods and services if it ensures a better level of service.
Physical or in-store experiences are also highly valued amongst consumers. 65 percent agree that in-store service is the best channel for getting a tailored experience, and 46 percent say they are more willing to be sold new or upgraded products when receiving a face-to-face service compared to online.
The Accenture Strategy report reveals that there is huge room for improvement in the delivery of today’s customer services. 81 percent of consumers admit that it is frustrating dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them. Another 73 percent expect customer service to be easier and more convenient, and 61 percent want it to be faster. Complaining on social media about poor customer experience is the norm for 44 percent of consumers who admit taking to social channels in order to vent.
Once a provider loses a customer, 68 percent of consumers will not go back. But there are measures companies can take to hold on to them. 80 percent of ‘switchers’ feel the company could have done something to retain them. 83 percent report that if companies could provide customers with better live or in-person customer service, it would have impacted their decision to switch provider.
Posted by Laura Collins, Editorial Management
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Published: Tuesday, March 1, 2016