Driven by rapid changes in technology, social media, and consumer behavior, customer service expectations continue to increase and only the best businesses are keeping up. Superior customer service experience generates return customers, loyalty, and ultimately, higher profits.
To help with this challenge, I’ve compiled a list of 5 important customer service statistics that cover interaction channel preferences, customer expectations, consumer attitudes towards the current state of support, and contact center priorities to guide your strategy moving forward.
- What Consumers Think About The State of Customer Service
Only 26% of consumers responded positively when asked if they believe customer service centers provide great support, compared to 49% who did not. This clearly shows how the industry is missing the mark in relation to customer expectations.
The upside is that this is a perfect opportunity for organizations to step up to the plate and differentiate themselves by providing better service experiences.
Q: “Please rate the level to which you agree or disagree with the following statement:
Customer service centers always provide excellent customer service.”
- How Customers Want to Communicate
80% of consumers prefer talking to an agent on the phone, which poses a financial challenge for organizations because it is by far the most expensive channel to support.
The range of channel preferences highlights the need for support centers to provide multi-channel service options, which is a difficult undertaking to do right, and may explain low customer satisfaction with customer service as a whole.
Q: “Which methods do you prefer to use for industry customer service centers?”
- The Changing Importance of Contact Center Metrics
Customer satisfaction is finally climbing up the priority list and, in my opinion, is the most important metric for a truly customer-centric organization. Two years ago, first call resolution and answer speed would be low on the list but, as of late, they have become significantly more important. These changes are indicative that consumer demands are driving the shift in metrics.
Q: “How important are these contact center metrics compared with two years ago?”
- How To Become An ‘Excellent’ Contact Center
Being a customer service leader means knowing how your customers define excellence. The results below show that quickly connecting with an agent and prompt issue resolution are the two factors that should be addressed.
Q: “Ideally, what should a company’s customer service center offer you in order to rate your experience as truly excellent?”
- Emerging Call Center Technologies
The contact center industry is experiencing a growth in innovative new technologies. At the core of these new technologies are changing customer demands and preferences. Offering these capabilities can be a great way for service centers to gain a competitive edge. I recently wrote about some of these in 5 Call Center Technologies Heating Up Customer Service.
Research indicates consumers strongly prefer the telephone channel and having their issues resolved quickly. Accordingly, 27% of respondents said they are extremely likely to use intelligent call-back technology, which eliminates hold times in call centers. Smartphone applications and video aren’t far behind, driven by evolving global trends.
Q: “If the following types of interaction were offered to you as a way to communicate with a company in the future,how likely would you be to use them?”
What other research do you find helpful for customer service and contact centers? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
TOP 10 CALL CENTER TRENDS FOR 2012