New research from MyCustomer has revealed that customer expectations of what constitutes a good contact centre service experience have changed dramatically in the past two years - with greater emphasis now placed on empathy, quick responses and an understanding of their service history.
Unfortunately, many consumers feel that organisations are failing to keep up with these changing requirements. And this could spell disaster for some businesses because customers say that the contact centre service experience is now more important to them than before the pandemic, and most will stop doing business with a brand after only a single bad experience with a contact centre.
Conducted in partnership with Genesys, the study interviewed 300 consumers about the standard of customer service performance they believe they are receiving from contact centres today.
Well over a third (39%) reported that contact centre customer service has become more important to them since the pandemic. But their preferences and expectations have changed considerably during that time.
Digital service channels are being used a lot more than before the pandemic - and in particular apps, live chat and social - while a fifth are using the phones less for support queries.
At the same time, up to a half of consumers also believe that empathy, friendliness, a quick response, and only having to explain themselves a single time are all much more important parts of the overall service experience than before the pandemic.
And while customers believe that the general standard of service being delivered across different contact channels is fairly strong (with the notable exception of automated chatbots), many feel that contact centres are falling short when it comes to some key areas - these include empathy, providing a quick response and 24/7 support. But the service experience quality that contact centres were deemed poorest at delivering was ensuring that customers only have to explain their query a single time, with over a third (37%) giving them a poor rating.
MyCustomer editor Neil Davey says: "It's no surprise to learn that customers have changed their channel preferences over the past 2-3 years - the shift towards digital and self-service is well-documented. But what is shocking is how so many other elements of the contact centre experience have become so much more important to consumers.
"Customer expectations have really ramped up, and coupled with the fact that consumers believe that contact centres are under-delivering in many of these areas, it certainly provides food for thought for businesses who want to reduce customer attrition as the financial climate becomes more turbulant."
Learn more about how consumers' contact centre preferences and behaviours have changed, how well contact centres are meeting these changing expectations, and what the impact of good/bad service experiences are, by downloading the report.