Contact center satisfaction has worsened over the last two years despite investments in new customer engagement channels, according to new market research released by BoldChat. Furthermore, there’s a wide, global gap in perceptions of customer service quality between contact center managers and customers, according to BoldChat’s study, which was carried out by LogMeIn and Ovum.
Surveying consumers worldwide, the market researchers found that the consumers believe resolving a problem with a business requires contacting them six distinct times. Surveyed contact managers believe it requires just two, BoldChat highlights in a press release about the contact center satisfaction surveys.
What may explain the disconnect is that 72% of consumers surveyed said they search for a solution online before they initiate contact with a call center, but more than half (52%) of the contact center managers surveyed do not track digital behavior.
Consumers’ worsening customer experience from contact centers threatens businesses in several ways, including by lessening feelings of brand loyalty, as well as revenue growth, BoldChat says. Just over 8 in 10 consumers (82%) said they would stop doing business with a company in the wake of a bad customer service experience.
The decline coincides with businesses investing to launch new customer engagement channels, and customers making use of them. More than 8 in 10 consumers (86%) said they use five or more communications channels to contact businesses for support. Forty-three percent said they believe access to agents worsened over the past two years. Half cited frustration with automated response systems.
That said, nearly 7 in 10 (68%) continue to believe that contacting businesses via phones is the best means of successfully resolving a problem. Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) said they would choose another channel if they knew their issue would be resolved on first attempt. Six in 10 said they would like improved access to Web support channels, such as social media, online community forums and live chat.
Contact Center Satisfaction
- Increased adoption of 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 3rd most popular way to resolve an issue and was viewed as the fastest way to get a response.
- Mobile dominates the customer experience: Today, more consumers call from the smartphone (58%) than a landline. And 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.
- Consumers are open to new ways of support: 35% of participating consumers currently use IoT-connected products, or are willing to, if it results in better customer service.
“The disparity between the perception of contact centers and the reality of consumers when it comes to customer experience is worrisome as every interaction is proving to be critical to customer retention,” commented Ken Landoline, Ovum Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement.
“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.”
Added LogMeIn VP, Customer Engagement & Support Solutions David Campbell: “Today’s always-connected customer expects immediate access to information and fast, efficient and frictionless service. Most contact centers struggle to meet these expectations because they are limited by disjointed, legacy systems. We see many forward-thinking businesses overcome these challenges by prioritizing investments in solutions that unify their engagement strategies across traditional and digital channels.”