Vonage, a global provide in cloud communications helping businesses accelerate their digital transformation and a part of Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), has released its Global Customer Engagement Report 2024. The 12th annual report outlines data and insights into customer communications preferences with businesses, highlighting emerging trends that emphasise the need to augment these interactions with artificial intelligence (AI) to enhance customer engagement. The 2024 report is based on nearly 7,000 consumer responses from 17 countries, including Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea.
AI’s Role to Reduce Frustration and Deliver Great CX
The global data revealed consumers continue to prefer a range of channel options when communicating with businesses, with mobile phone calls (36%), messaging/non-SMS apps (31%) and phone calls via apps (29%) ranking high in preference. However, less than half (42%) indicated they are "very satisfied" when communicating with businesses.
In APAC, consumers revealed that mobile phone calls (73%) are the most common method used by customers to communicate with businesses, followed by phone calls via messaging apps (60%), messaging via non-SMS apps (64%), emails (50%) and social media posts (47%).
Consumers cited multiple frustrations such as long wait times to speak to an agent (63%), no way to speak to customer service via voice/phone (59%), lack of 24/7 support availability (48%) and lack of self-service support (46%).
The report found that (80%) of APAC customers are likely to take their business elsewhere as a result of poor experiences, and 61% of consumers will not tolerate bad experiences and will walk away after just one or two bad encounters.
These findings underscore opportunities to leverage AI. With tools like AI-based virtual assistants, businesses are equipped to provide quick resolution, reduce frustrations and ultimately provide a more targeted and personalised experience for the user, including the ability to:
Triage urgent customer inquiries
Provide smarter self-service at scale
Deliver smart IVR (interactive voice response) and skills-based routing to connect customers with an agent best suited to handle their query, preventing and mitigating a bad customer experience
Report findings demonstrate that consumers are embracing AI to make their experiences better. In fact, responses show a likelihood that chatbot and video chat usage will more than double within the next year, with 10% using chatbots today and 23% expected usage in the next six to 12 months. Additionally, 13% indicate they’re using video chat today, with 26% expected usage in the next six to 12 months.
Commenting on the report findings, Joy Corso, Chief Marketing Officer at Vonage, highlights the significance of these results in shaping customer experience (CX): "This data underscores that, to differentiate on customer engagement, businesses need an omnichannel communications strategy that allows customers to contact them seamlessly across their preferred channels. Those that do will also benefit from the ability to leverage the powerful capabilities of AI across communication channels, such as voice, video, messaging, and chat, enabling them to augment live customer support. This goes a long way to ensuring personal and real-time customer engagement at every touchpoint."
"Metrigy’s upcoming AI for Business Success study shows significant growth for AI-enabled technologies, with 38% of CX leaders saying 2024 will be their turning point for acceptance of AI in CX, up from 17% in 2023," says Metrigy CEO Robin Gareiss. "Companies that adopt and integrate AI and automation into their CX processes have documented compelling success metrics, with improvements in customer satisfaction and loyalty, as well as agent efficiency. Companies not using AI on an omnichannel environment are already at a competitive disadvantage, so it’s imperative to establish a targeted AI strategy now."
Positive CX Creates Loyal Brand Ambassadors
With 56% of consumers indicating they are likely to offer positive survey feedback after a great experience with a business and 55% noting they would share their experience with friends and family, it’s clear that great experiences create valuable brand ambassadors. Even better, more than half (52%) of customers report heightened brand loyalty following such an encounter, and more than a third (36%) go as far as purchasing additional products.
Added Corso, "This report emphasises that businesses that leverage AI across communications channels have the ability to facilitate the kind of meaningful, intelligent conversations that strengthen loyalty, build long lasting customer relationships and ultimately boost sales."
The Global Customer Engagement survey was conducted in October 2023, and explored the varied channels customers use for communicating with friends, family, and businesses - including voice, messaging apps, email, social media, chat, and more - and the immense value of delivering excellent customer service.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Vonage (NYSE: VG) is a provider of communications services connecting individuals through broadband devices worldwide. Our technology serves approximately 2.4 million subscribers. We provide communication solutions that offer flexibility, portability and ease-of-use. Our Vonage World plan offers unlimited calling to more than 60 countries with popular features like call waiting, call forwarding and voicemail - for one low monthly rate. Vonage Holdings Corp. is headquartered in Holmdel, New Jersey. Vonage is a registered trademark of Vonage Marketing Inc., a subsidiary of Vonage Holdings Corp.
Published: Wednesday, February 7, 2024
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