Voice of the Customer

Consumers say brands are not easy enough for them to contact for help because of fragmented customer experience, according to The Northridge Group’s State of Customer Service Experience 2016 report.

Of those polled, 44 per cent of customers said they felt it is difficult to contact companies.

55 per cent said they had to use two or more channels of communication to get in contact with a company to resolve an issue, while 77 per cent said they used social media to contact channels the same amount or more times than previous years, out of 1,000 U.S. consumers surveyed.

There were 21 per cent who said they use social media never got a response.

Pam Plyler, executive practice lead for customer experience at The Northridge Group, said: “When it comes to interacting with customer service departments, today’s time-starved consumers want easy. The unfortunate reality is that as consumers attempt to make contact with brands, it is anything but easy.

“Their experiences are often highly fragmented, inconsistent, labour intensive and lacking personalisation. Putting an effective omni-channel strategy in place with an emphasis on the digital experience allows companies to respond seamlessly to customers—building service, sales, reputation and brand loyalty while also reducing costs.”

Consumers were also found to be increasingly impatient if more channels of contact were available.

The report showed 19 per cent of baby boomers will attempt to contact a company through a second channel within an hour if they have not received and adequate response to an interaction.

A greater proportion of millennials, 40 per cent, said they would try another channel if their interaction was not reciprocated within an hour.

Therese Fauerbach, co-founder and chief executive of The Northridge Group, said: “The companies that get digital right will win. Digital is growing exponentially as customers continue to move online. Companies that focus on usability and ease of resolution within and across their digital channels will have a real competitive advantage.”

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