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We’ve all experienced a frustrating interaction with customer service. You call expecting a simple resolution to a problem, but 30 minutes and multiple customer service representatives later, you’ve had to repeat your account information and issue for each person you’ve spoken with and still haven’t resolved the problem.

Therefore, it’s not surprising to learn that half (47 per cent) of technology supplier customers are dissatisfied, according to a new analysis from Conduent Incorporated, the first in a series of reports on the state of customer experience across the high tech, communications, and media industries.

Personal Data Use Improves the Customer Experience

Despite most (76 per cent) customers providing personal data to their technology suppliers (hardware suppliers, ecommerce websites, software providers, etc.), 59 per cent of customers believe these brands do not know them, an increase of 16 per cent from just two years ago. While using data more effectively has been a major focus for technology brands to improve the customer experience, the research shows a divide exists between the data coming in and the enhanced experience customers receive.

“Data, predictive analytics and automation are combining to enable new levels of immediacy, personalisation and convenience across channels and can help close the gap in customer experience,” said Christine Landry, group chief executive, Consumer & Industrials, Conduent. “By getting to better know the customer and their preferences, we boost efficiency and improve their experience across all the places they interact with a brand, which increases brand loyalty and ultimately cost savings for the provider.”

Secure Data is Critical

At the same time, customers still have concerns about the security of their data and how it will be used. Technology brands need to assure customer data is secure and will be used to tailor communications to better serve them. And soon, technology brands in Europe will be under increased regulation under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to help ensure that customer data is protected – or face penalty.

Brands applying customer data securely and in the right way will be able to deliver an enhanced support experience to 100 per cent of the customers that provide personal data. Data must be centralised and accessible to ensure a consistent and seamless experience regardless of the channel the customer uses to interact with the brand.

Brands Now Must Appeal to Three Types of Customers

       Do-It-Yourself Heroes (24 per cent of respondents) are digitally immersed and will look to self-help (website self-help, app self-help, and virtual assistant) to avoid person-to-person interaction.

       Digital Conversationalists (27 per cent of respondents) like to engage with people digitally (email, website web chat, social media) and are inclined to self-solve.

       Conversationalists (49 per cent of respondents) seek human interaction through face-to-face or phone communication.

The Customer Journey is Going Digital

       Digital channel usage (email, website webchat, social media, self-help, etc.) has increased 65 per cent between 2015 and 2017.

       On-device help, social media and virtual assistant are three channels that are expected to experience the largest usage increase.

With Multiple Channels, Consistency is Key

       Brands are receiving more than 80 per cent of questions over four different channels, but customers experience stark differences in satisfaction between these channels.

       Brands need to do more than just offer customer service over multiple channels, they need to focus on creating a consistent experience across all channels offered.

According to our research, 10 minutes or less is the optimal time period to satisfy customers across the majority of channels.

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