The Now Consumer


nowconsumerFor the last several years Aspect has shared its findings of customer service preferences for today’s consumer in the Aspect Consumer Experience Index. And, consistently, over the last three years we’ve found that consumers would prefer to conduct service related transactions and interactions on their own rather than talk to a customer service representative. In fact two thirds of people feel good when they can handle a customer service issue without the assistance of a customer service agent.

In our ever increasing digital lives the ability to gather information instantly – whether it’s from search engines, crowdsourcing, virtual personal assistants, video tutorials or online communities, has made us (consumers) more knowledgeable and less patient than ever before. What this means for customer service is that consumers won’t tolerate waiting for service. They want to do it on their own time and via the channels they prefer.

The self-service economy is here to stay and for brands to sustain and build lasting customer relationships they will need to make sure that every technology investment or service related process change supports these new consumer expectations. Keep an eye out for new posts over the next several weeks where we’ll dive deeper into each one of these expectations:

Know me. Carry my “context” and data from each interaction seamlessly to the next interaction even if the customer switches channels or switches from self-service to live assistance. Now Consumer Blog

Make it mobile. A complete mobile customer experience must leverage all channels available on a mobile device. Nearly half of consumers would rather text than talk.

Let me do it. The reality is that customer satisfaction is higher in a DIY model largely because we are much more forgiving of ourselves when it comes to service, 65% of consumers feel good when they resolve a customer service issue without a live person according to the 2016 Aspect Consumer Experience Index.

Make it social. Consumers use social media to crowdsource for help, speak to a company representative, and publicly vent. Brands and consumers are drawn to social media for its inherent simplicity as a communication channel.

Fit it into my life. Consumers don’t feel they should be constrained by business hours of operation anymore. They are on the go and conducting their business at every hour of the day. As a result, brands should enable their customers to contact them at any hour of the day and on any medium they prefer.

Save me time. Advances in mobile technology has lessened consumers’ patience for waiting. No one is willing to tolerate a three day wait for an email reply or a hold time longer than a minute. They also have little patience for having to go through a contact center for simple queries that they could have solved themselves.

Make me smarter. Consumers expect that they’ll be informed ahead of time if there is going to be a known change in service. Brands can proactively communicate with customers to inform them of order status messages, appointment and prescription reminders, service outage notifications, and other messages depending on business needs. Sharing YouTube videos is just one way to communicate in a more contemporary way and build learning in real time.

Make it easy. Delivering remarkable customer service in a world where people often prefer to help themselves requires making it easy for customers who prefer other channels over talking. Brands must transform simple one-way notifications into two-way conversations.

The consumer to company relationship has forever changed. Self-service consumer engagement does not have to be lackluster and unfulfilling. Stay tuned to the blog to learn more about how you can create greater loyalty and longer-term customer value by engaging with your customers on their terms.


Latest posts by Joe Gagnon, Chief Customer Strategy Officer (see all)