High-Quality Customer Service Still on Hold

By Cindy Waxer September 16, 2010

Studies show that it can cost up to six times as much to replace a customer as to keep him. But according to the results of a recent customer experience survey by Nuance Communications, companies simply aren’t doing enough to help consumers air their customer experiences, pet peeves and preferences.

Conducted using TwitSurvey, the report reveals that 69 percent of consumers prefer to contact customer care with their mobile device versus a land-line phone, through the Internet or any other method. Yet the contact center industry is struggling to stay on top of changes to traditional customer contact centers despite the cost savings, revenue generation and increased customer satisfaction that can arise from leveraging mobile, multimodal communication devices such as smartphones. In fact, according to the results of a recent market study by Frost & Sullivan, only 35 percent profiled are seeking the “latest and greatest” applications to increase customer satisfaction.

But factoring the growth of mobile into their contact center strategies isn’t the only step companies need to take to win over and retain consumers. According to Nuance Communications’ report, pet peeves about contacting customer care include taking too long to get what they need, the system doesn’t offer the necessary menu option, and long wait times to speak with a live agent. A whopping 92 percent of consumers responded that it takes too long to have their needs met and 85 percent complained that the system doesn’t offer the option they’re looking for.

When asked what makes a great experience with an automated speech-enabled customer service system, 77 percent of customers surveyed rated not having to repeat oneself when transferred to an agent as favorable or very favorable. And 69 percent of consumers rated the ability to answer questions verbally without selecting from a list and being steered to the correct destination as primary preferences.

In the case of basic needs such as checking account balances, making payments and checking airline statuses, consumers prefer automated customer care over live agent assistance. In fact, 77 percent of respondents prefer to check flight and train statuses using an automated system while 54 percent like refilling a prescription or placing a retail order in this manner. 

Edited by Erin Harrison

TechZone360 Contributing Editor

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