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55% of consumers need to use two or more channels to resolve their issue

23rd Aug 2016
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Fragmented and siloed business structures mean that customers are having to work harder than ever to resolve their issues. 

Research by The Northridge Group surveyed 1,000 US adults to reveal that 55% are using two or more communication channels to contact a company or brand before an issue is resolved.

Even when using a single channel, 40% said they must contact a brand two or more times before a customer service issue is resolved.

Consumers still value first contact resolution, the research found, but 44% of consumers say they do not feel companies make it easy to contact them.

Social media in particular appears to be something of a contact blackhole. 

While it is growing as a customer service channel, with 77% of consumers saying they use social channels to contact companies as much or more than a year ago, over a fifth (21%) say that they never even get a response when they message a brand on social media. 

The State of Customer Service Experience 2016 report is the second annual report from The Northridge Group. And the conclusion is that consumers are worn down and frustrated by how much effort is required to contact companies for help. 

“When it comes to interacting with customer service departments, today’s time-starved consumers want easy,” says Pam Plyler, executive practice lead for customer experience at The Northridge Group.

“The unfortunate reality is that as consumers attempt to make contact with brands, it is anything but easy. Their experiences are often highly fragmented, inconsistent, labor intensive and lacking personalisation. Putting an effective omnichannel strategy in place with an emphasis on the digital experience allows companies to respond seamlessly to customers - building service, sales, reputation and brand loyalty while also reducing costs.”

These service standards could have a dramatic impact on businesses if they fail to up their game, with other findings indicating that patience is declining, and tolerance for slow responses is particularly low amongst Millennials. 

While 19% of Baby Boomers will try another communications channel within 60 minutes if their issue is not adequately addressed, 40% of Millennials report they will migrate to another channel within 60 minutes if their issue is not adequately addressed.


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By PaulineAshenden
30th Aug 2016 14:20

Unfortunately, these results are mirrored by Eptica research in the UK. When evaluating 100 top brands they only successfully answered 51% of routine questions across email, the web and Twitter, while the average time to respond to a query on Twitter was over 4 hours – well below the standards consumers expect. More on the results in this blog post

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