What Professionals Value Most in a Customer Service Experience

As a customer experience professional, I am always interested in what customers value most.  If we get it right, we can efficiently manage our resources, priorities and engagements to successfully provide the expected value to our customers and ultimately achieve our respective goals.

To that end, we conducted a study with consumers around the world in 2014, “Customer Service Experience Study, Wave II,” and asked two key questions:  “What do customers want in a great service experience?” and “What do companies and customers want from the technology that enables great customer experience?”  The respondents were categorized as either “professionals” or “consumers” so we could easily contrast expectations from both sides of the equation.  We also conducted a similar study in 2013 which allowed us to learn what changes in priorities have taken place over the last year.  In my last post, “What Do Consumers Value Most in a Service Experience?”, I focused on the “consumer’s” perspective.  For this one, I am going to focus on the “professional’s” perspective.

Notable results provided by “Professionals”:

  • Timely response was the most valued aspect in 2014. In 2013, it was knowledgeable agent.
  • When asked: “Which channels does your organization prefer when interacting with customers.” Live agent still ranked the highest in 2014 followed by: email, website, self-service, Web chat, social media and other.  This was similar to the 2013 results.
  • When asked: “What percent of the time do you use the following service or support communication channels to interact with your customers?” In 2014, phone was by far the leading media channel followed by email, website, Web chat, self-service, social media, SMS and other.  This was similar to 2013; however, phone increased to 43 percent from 34 percent in 2013.
  • When asked: “How valuable is it to you to be able to offer each of the following services to your customers?”  The number one response as an easy way to provide feedback on interactions once completed.  In 2013, the number one response was allowing a complete interaction history to be available to the agents no matter the channel.
  • When asked: “Rate the value of the technology solution’s ability to provide customer interaction via the following channels”: Phone was number one at 80 percent.

A simple summary of the feedback from the professional’s perspective is that we need to provide a timely response and despite all of our efforts to “force” self-service, email, chat etc.,  the phone is still the most popular way to communicate with customers.

John Butson – Trying to “get it right”.

John Butson

John Butson

I joined Interactive Intelligence in January of 2002 and have been fortunate to be part of the most incredible company in the world. As director of the client success team, my primary goal is to ensure our customers are successful in deploying the Interactive Intelligence solutions – helping them to turn customer service into a competitive weapon. Prior to joining Interactive, I worked in sales at Mitel Networks for five years. Before joining Mitel, I held various engineering and management positions at KeyBank. I have a bachelor of science degree in administrative services from The University of Toledo and an associates degree in engineering technology from Owens Community College. I also served four years in the United States Marine Corps. I am passionate about the customer experience and am always looking for ways to improve the delivery to our customers. If you have ideas, please contact me.