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”.