In a recent presentation for customer service software provider Parature, Forrester Principal Analyst Kate Leggett discussed the current state of multichannel customer service and areas of focus for 2014. Here are 10 top takeaways:
1. 90% of customer experience decision makers say that a good experience is critical to their success; 63% think the importance of the customer experience has risen.
2. While most brands believe their organization provides either good or excellent customer service, the Forrester State of Customer Experience report shows that consumers think just 31% of brands provide a good experience, while only 8% provide an excellent experience.
3. The Forrester Understand Communication Channel Needs To Craft Your Customer Service Strategy report finds that 52% of consumers are “very likely” to abandon their online purchase if they cannot find a quick answer to their questions.
4. 71% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good customer service.
5. 33% of consumers now prefer to use online customer service rather than speak to a live person on the telephone.
6. Yet 75% of U.S. consumers turn to the phone ($6 – $12 per contact), email ($2.50 – $5 per contact) or chat ($5 or higher per contact) to complete a customer service interaction after an unsuccessful attempt to resolve their customer service issue online.
7. Many CSOs may not be using all the right metrics to drive positive CSR behaviors and customer service outcomes. While most CSOs measure handle time, speed to answer and number of calls handled per hour, these metrics don’t measure the effectiveness of an interaction – and can drive agents to escalate or transfer calls that they could have resolved with just a little more time. Using metrics like first contact resolution and customer satisfaction are better, as they measure volume, as well as success.
8. Brands are struggling with multi-channel consistency. If your customers email your customer service agents, call them, chat or look for the answer via a web self-service portal, they should get the same answer each time. This involves a dedicated investment in knowledge management.
10. Focus on four key components to move the customer service needle: (1) customer understanding, (2) creating a customer experience strategy, (3) developing a customer-centric culture and (4) leveraging a multi-channel technology and customer data management ecosystem.