Disruption to traditional business models in recent years has meant that today’s consumers are more demanding than ever – they expect to able to access services instantly through intuitive apps and experience great service at the same time – and, why shouldn’t they? Technological advancements have made this landscape a reality so the struggle for many organisations now is what to implement.
New research has revealed that almost two thirds of consumers (72 percent) are willing to pay more for exceptional customer service and over half (57 percent) are willing to pay more for good service, proving that investment in the functions that enable this great service are worth their salt!
These findings are according to our 2018 Aspect Consumer Experience Index Survey, which also found that almost half (44 percent) stopped doing business with at least one company because of poor service and two thirds (66 percent) did more business with at least one company because of good service.
So, what’s enabling this great service that consumers are crying out for?
Interestingly, the research found that friendliness is much more important than convenience to consumers, showing that while it’s great that many organisations are implementing new technologies that facilitate this convenience, it’s more important to tackle the basics of ensuring well-trained and happy staff / agents that can in turn provide friendly service.
This was also supported by the fact that nearly two thirds (62 percent) said talking or live-chatting with a happy customer service agent would also make them happy and 72 percent would rather interact with a happy agent and have their experience take a little longer than interact with an uninterested agent and have their experience go a little faster.
Automated services such as chatbots, SMS or modern IVR systems are preferred by consumers for most enquiries. These services enable them to resolve simple questions quickly and accurately.
Especially for the younger generation in particular who are digitally native, these channels are often preferred, with millennials’ preference for text-based chatbots increasing 250 percent in the last year.
In addition, nearly half (43 percent) of consumers like the idea of customer service interactions completed via a home-based intelligent assistant such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home, with this figure rising to 62 percent for millennials.
Encouragingly, businesses are realising the importance of automated options, with research into contact centre and customer experience trends from analyst house Aberdeen stating that 70 percent of companies expect to increase their adoption and use of self-service over the next 12-18 months. The same survey also shows that businesses expect to increase their adoption of AI by 3.0-times more within the next 12-18 months, compared to current adoption.
But while it’s essential that organisations listen to their customers and provide more automated options, it’s also crucial that they ensure they don’t lose the human touch where it’s needed. For example, more complicated enquiries may require a skilled and very specialist agent to respond. It’s important that contact centres implement the technologies their customers want, but also upskill their agents alongside this to ensure customers receive the best possible experience.
To learn more about self-serve and automated options for the contact centre, click here.
Steve has held leadership roles in Computacenter, EMC, Orange, and most recently as RVP for Hitachi Data Systems, where he was responsible for leading HDS regional restructure and Transformation, succeeding in driving growth and market share.
Steve is passionate about delivering world class Customer Service, Technology and hiring and developing great people. He believes how you engage with your customer defines the success of any business, with the client demanding ease of interaction, when they want it and how they want it.
With a simple view that focusses on these three areas, Aspect is ideally positioned to accelerate its growth and Market share. Steve is working with the EA leadership team to create a plan and vision for Aspect EA that underpins the competitive advantage that the Aspect suite of software provides to its clients.
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