Over two-thirds (70%) of UK consumers would like customer service to be more convenient and offer more channels to get in touch with organisations, according to a new report, ‘Customer engagement – the road to 2020’, commissioned by West Unified Communications Services. This shows that contact centres are still behind in offering digital technologies that deliver on their promise of excellent customer engagement from a consumer’s perspective.
Despite the progress contact centres have started to make, consumers are still experiencing mounting challenges around convenience, with nearly three quarters (74%) of over 2,000 consumers finding it frustrating when customer service is only available during working hours. At the same time, nearly half (47%) of respondents want more customer service options tailored towards their mobile phones so they can deal with issues when out and about.
“People are used to transacting with businesses on the move and expect them to be as easy as ordering an Uber. Busy consumers demand flexibility to get in touch with contact centres at the times and on the channels that are most convenient for them. Your customer service operation needs the ability to re-configure and adapt the contact centre quickly and at scale to overcome disconnected omnichannel challenges and meet consumer needs for informed, convenient, and fast interactions,” commented Enda Kenneally, VP Sales & Business Development UKI at West Unified Communications Services.
Consumer expectations around brand responsiveness are also high, the majority of respondents want most enquiries to be dealt with within a maximum of three hours, giving the least leniency to calls, live chat and web forms. The favoured acceptable time for customer service responses for each channel are:
- Voice – 1 minute to 5 minutes (46%)
- Live chat – 1 minute to 5 minutes (41%)
- Social media – 30 minutes to 1 hour (21%)
- Text/SMS – 30 minutes to 1 hour (21%)
- Web form – 1 minute to 5 minutes (18%)
- Email – 30 minutes to 1 hour (18%)
Enda Kenneally VP Sales & Business Development at West Unified Communications Services said “Consumer demand for a better customer experience is only set to increase, and contact centre managers must close the gap in being able to deliver excellent customer engagement, These challenges can be overcome with a versatile cloud-based contact centre, which offers multiple communications types and integration with systems such as CRM. Customers can spend less time waiting in lines, and more time having their issues actively managed and resolved, and agents can customise customer engagement with access to any previous queries, transfer them across the business, and deliver a personalised experience.”