Improving Customer Experience (CX) via digital transformation (DT) were two of last year’s most overused buzzwords, followed closely by omnichannel where customers expect to be able to engage with a company via the medium of their choice, at the time of their choice, on the device of their choice – and get the same great experience as in the physical store over all channels. GCX is good and BCX is bad, with the latter prevailing.
The results (registration required for a free report) were not pretty. About 65% still wanted to talk to a live person, admittedly mostly baby boomers, whereas Millennials would not pick up the phone, preferring online contact. Men were a little happier with self-service online options whereas women wanted more personalisation – simply meaning that one-size CX does not fit all.
Worse still, 77% admitted to opting out of a brand’s communications because they felt overawed by poor CX or irrelevant communications from the brand. CX and omnichannel can be good but many are looking at the technology just to digitalise manual processes instead of thinking how it can improve CX.
West’s key findings included:
- A personalised CX may come at the expense of convenience or reliability – indicating that some of the technology that enables customization may not always be convenient to use.
- Excellent service is the most important ingredient of a delightful CX – 77% rank speed to resolution as the top indicator
- Most say they prefer dealing with a person over the phone when they reach out to a brand, but want brands to communicate via email when reaching out to them.
- Despite the ubiquity of available web and mobile channels, 65% still covet phone calls with a live person when they have a specific question or issue – perhaps due to the emphasis they place on speed and convenience. Email is the next best way to contact at 55% and online chat at 48%.
- Email (82%) is the preferred way for a brand to reach customers – whereas SMS and phone calls from the company are not.
- Self-service has a place (press 1 for …) for simple things
- The Web is the preferred method of research and troubleshooting issues, followed by a phone call
- Despite the ubiquity of social media in consumers’ work and personal lives, many don’t view these platforms as helpful customer service channels.
- Most customers don’t consider social media (Facebook, Twitter etc.) to be an effective arena for brand interaction when there’s a task to accomplish or urgent information to convey. Social media is for expressing opinions about goods, services or companies.
- Personalisation was necessary for initial inquiry for travel/hospitality, healthcare, financial services and insurance. Self-service was fine for retail, banking, and utilities.
West concluded that a human touch still matters, consumers want omnichannel even if they don’t use them all and err on the side of caution when planning proactive communication with customers.