Consumers favour traditional contact channels; avoid ‘shiny objects’

19th Sep 2012

Despite brand emphasis on multi-channel communications, customers of all ages prefer to rely on tried-and-tested contact methods.

So says Ovum analyst Keith Dawson, who recently contradicted the widely held view that younger consumers are pushing the envelope of customer service interactions with mobile and social.

“What is really happening is that younger customers, like their older peers, are more focused on the results of interactions, rather than the mode of contact,” he says.

According to a 2011 Ovum survey, voice and email emerged as consumers’ most preferred service channels for resolving issues, with web chat following behind in third.

Most surprisingly, there was no significant variation in response based on age, dispelling widely held beliefs that Millenials are mercurial, highly demanding, and eager to adopt new modes of communication.

He said: “Millennials are just as aware as Boomers that voice calls get better service results than Facebook posts and FAQs. This suggests that when consumers make their initial choices about how to get service, they judge based on their projection of the outcome, not on whether they are being offered channels that are “cool.

“It also means that people are probably not making communications decisions based on their comfort with new technology.”   

So what does this mean for enterprises? Companies that plow their resources into perfecting the service and communication processes will catch consumer attention, regardless of what channels are used, concludes Dawson.


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