The results demonstrated a significant shift to web and mobile technologies as the preferred ways to connect with customer service. From these results, there is an opportunity for companies to better anticipate the change of customer preferences and begin providing multichannel customer support to quickly resolve problems, improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.
-- Shift in platforms – While 51 percent of the respondents named landline telephone customer support as the most preferred customer service channel five years ago, 34 percent called out email as their top resource today, followed by landline telephone (19 percent) and mobile devices (16 percent).
-- Mobile customer support quickly gaining – In the next five years, 24 percent expect mobile devices to be the leading customer service channel while 41 percent confirmed they have downloaded a mobile application to better connect to customer service.
-- Online self-service tools are critical – Currently, 63 percent turn to the company website as their first channel of choice to resolve an issue before calling customer service.
-- Customer service is an ongoing experience – 26 percent said they are likely to tell their friends about their experience, 21 percent said they would ask for the same representative next time and 14 percent said they would share their experience online.
Additional survey findings revealed what companies customers spend the most time with as well as how customers would like to interact with customer service:
-- Banking and retail organizations spend the most time with their customers – these are the leading industries for which customers said they spend the most time on a customer service issue, with 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
-- Convenience is important – 47 percent said they usually connect with customer service from work and 33 percent reach out while at home.
-- On-demand support expectations are significant – 18 percent said instant messaging is their first channel of choice to resolve an issue, while five percent said they turn to social networks to resolve customer service problems.More information on customer service and support can be found at www.SupportIndustry.com