Traditional customer service is reactionary; the client comes in with a problem and the business is expected to find a solution. These days, around 27% of consumers report that they expect proactivity from their favorite brands, either through upgrade notifications, maintenance reminders or other offerings that mitigate issues before they occur – and this number is rising. Essentially, customers expect operators to anticipate issues before they worsen.
Businesses Aren’t Keeping Up
Unfortunately, most organisations aren’t meeting consumer expectations. Among consumers, more than 50% feel that customer service has stagnated and is no better than it was in the past. And while 20% feel that customer service has improved slightly, 23% feel that it is worse this year than last. So, all in all, things are hardly improving.
A principal problem among consumers is that they are still facing significant issues when it comes to the speed and convenience of effective customer service. Only 10% of respondents to Netomi’s survey felt that today’s customer service options are convenient, while 46% of consumers said that it remains frustrating or slow. Major issues include overall response time (44%) and brands’ inability to resolve issues on first contact (60%).
Of course, some of this might be due to the rapid escalation of consumer expectations. A whopping 65% of surveyed consumers reported having higher expectations for customer service today than they did just 3-5 years ago. That said, if businesses want to retain their customers – and win new ones – they need to catch up.
What Can Operators Do?
The statistics taken from the survey offer a unique opportunity for innovative companies to beat their competition. By putting customer service at the forefront of your brand and leveraging new technologies such as artificial intelligence, ticket tracking and analytics platforms, operators can meet consumer expectations and in turn increase loyalty. It’s worth bearing in mind that customer service is nowadays an integral part of the process, rather than merely a desirable option, and therefore it cannot and should not be ignored.