New research has revealed that valuing your customers' time is the key to their heart.
In the report Understand Communication Channel Needs To Craft Your Customer Service Strategy, Forrester analyst Kate Leggett found that the majority of customers (71%) say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.
And the findings demonstrate that in order to do this, brands must be in the right time at the right place - something that is more difficult given the impact of disruptive technologies on consumer preferences for service channels.
In terms of preferred channel, the report also showed that the old ones are still the best ones with voice still the most used communication channel for service with (73%). However, web self-service and digital channels like chat and email are following close behind.
Adoption of online chat in particular was shown to rise 13% from 2009 to reach 43% in 2012 and, after voice, has the highest satisfaction rating of any other channel used, the figures showed. Leggett believes the explosion of online customer service channels – such as chat with live agents and social media – is exploding as consumers expect relevant and seamless customer service across channels.
The report also dismissed claims that the end of email is nigh. The figures showed that email remains the third most widely used communication channel among US online adults and over the past two years has actually increased by 2% to take 58% of the total share of service communications.
Social channels were shown to be increasingly important with online communities and Twitter recording increasing usage rates in the past three years, she explains. However, satisfaction levels due to companies failing to invest in best practices to manage service interactions on these channels.
“What this means is that companies must understand their customers’ communication channel preferences and be prepared for them to change over time. This also means that companies must choose technology ecosystems that provide the business agility and flexibility to meet customer channel demands today and in the future,” Leggett concludes.
About Neil Davey
Neil Davey is the managing editor of MyCustomer. An experienced business journalist and editor, Neil has worked on a variety of newspapers, magazines and websites over the past 15 years, including Internet Works, CXO magazine and Business Management. He joined Sift Media in 2007.