Contact centres out of touch with the reality of today’s mobile consumer
Customer experience has worsened over the last two years despite investments in new engagement channels. A report, which surveyed hundreds of contact centre managers and consumers globally, found that the consumers surveyed believe it takes six different interactions to resolve an issue, while the surveyed contact centre managers believe it takes only one to two touchpoints.
This disconnect, shown in a new study from Ovum on behalf of BoldChat by LogMeIn, could be largely due to the fact that 72% of consumers surveyed search for information online before contacting an agent, but the majority of contact centre managers surveyed (52%) do not track digital behaviour. The increased disappointment with customer experience is threatening customer loyalty, sustainability and revenue growth as 82% reported that they will stop doing business with a company following a bad experience, noted the report.
Mobile dominates the customer experience, the study showed. Today, more consumers call from the smartphone (58%) than a landline. Also, they are using their mobile device for more than calls; 83% of participating consumers reported using mobile applications for customer support and 64% reported using mobile websites, up from 64% and 57%, respectively, since 2014.
Additionally, consumers are open to new ways of support, with 35% of participating consumers currently using IoT-connected products, or being willing to, if it results in better customer service.
“Today’s always-connected customer expects immediate access to information and fast, efficient and frictionless service,” said David Campbell, vice president, customer engagement and support solutions, at LogMeIn. “Most contact centres struggle to meet these expectations because they are limited by disjointed, legacy systems. We see many forward-thinking businesses overcome these challenges by prioritising investments in solutions that unify their engagement strategies across traditional and digital channels.”
The study also revealed that while 86% of consumers reported using over five channels for support, 43% of consumers noted that they believe access to agents has worsened over the last two years, with 50% citing frustration with automated response systems. While 68% of participating consumers still believe that phone calls provide the most success for resolution, 78% would choose a channel other than voice if they knew they could get a resolution on the first attempt. Also, 60% of consumers reported wanting organisations to improve access to web support channels including social media, communities and live chat.
The use of live chat has increased from 33% in 2014 to 44% today. Among the consumers interviewed, live chat ranked as the third most popular way to resolve an issue and was viewed as the fastest way to get a response.
“The disparity between the perception of contact centres and the reality of consumers when it comes to customer experience is worrisome as every interaction is proving to be critical to customer retention,” said Ken Landoline, principal analyst, customer engagement at Ovum. “Because customers will stop doing business with a company following a bad experience, it is critical that brands identify friction points in the customer journey and offer their reps the tools and technology to help improve the overall customer experience from pre-purchase through post-purchase support.”