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Omni-Channel Customer Engagement Article

Customers Expect More from Self-Service Today

November 30, 2016



So much for the oncoming wave of omni-channel customer support goodness. In many companies, the plans – once so firmly laid – appear to be falling victim to apathy, budget cuts and legacy systems.

Think about this: one half of American consumers stopped doing business with at least one company this year because of poor customer support. Is your organization that company? Most companies would like to say “no,” but hopeful optimism isn’t the same as reality.



Customers between the ages of 18 and 65 polled by the Aspect (News - Alert) Consumer Experience Index cited a number of reasons for “bolting” from companies. The “big three” included long wait times, having to repeat themselves with each new rep or channel, and getting “passed around” from agent to agent in search of a resolution to their problem. There’s also evidence the problem is getting worse: in 2015, 52 percent of customers reported having bolted from a company because of poor customer service. In this year’s index, 58 percent reported the same experience. So much for the oncoming wave of omni-channel customer support goodness. In many companies, the plans – once so firmly laid – appear to be falling victim to apathy, budget cuts and legacy systems.

So what are some of the major ways companies can begin regaining the ground they lost in their efforts to trim budgets? For starters, they can do what customers expect of them when it comes to self-service: make it plentiful, streamlined and easy to use. The survey found that in 2015, 64 percent of customers said they want the ability to solve most issues themselves. This year, a whopping 71 percent of customers said good self-service is high on their list of expectations. Today’s customer is used to multitasking and resolving issues digitally, often through their mobile devices, and they expect to be able to accomplish it when they interact with companies. Also, when they use self-service, 88 percent of customers said they expect the transaction to “follow” them if they have to seek live support. This means never having to “start from scratch” after they’ve tried to resolve their issue with self-service.

“If the recent findings from the Aspect Consumer Experience Index are any indication, more customers will be bolting from businesses who don’t step up their customer experience game,” said Aspect’s Tim Dreyer (News - Alert) in a recent blog post.

Why is all this so important? According to the survey, 65 percent of those surveyed said they feel good about both the brand and themselves when they can resolve issues on their own. (This should be intuitive to most companies today: when customers can take care of their own problems or answer their own questions, companies save money.) And when customers feel good about their experiences and their purchases, chances are very good that will return and remain loyal customers. 




Edited by Maurice Nagle
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