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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : June 28, 2011

Consumers want quick answers from customer service

Avaya's recent global Contact Center Consumer Preference Study reveals that, in order to provide the most comprehensive customer service, businesses must ensure they're not only quick off the mark but that they make as many contact methods available to consumers as possible.

by Helen Leggatt

Around the globe there's one thing that consumers value highly when dealing with customer service - a quick answer to their query. And, with customer service ranked second only to value for money when listing factors that determine brand loyalty, marketers need to be on their toes and know how consumers today want to interact.

In the US and UK quick query resolution is the top ranked reason consumers will rate a customer experience as excellent, found Avaya's study. However consumers may not want to use the telephone to get that quick response.

Indeed, Avaya's study found the telephone to be out of favor with 40% of consumers globally. In these digital times most prefer to use other methods to interact with customer service centers such as email (55%) and web self-serve (38%). A third (32%) of US consumers prefers these alternate methods of contact to using the telephone.

A poor customer service experience is likely to leave a bitter taste not only in the mouth of a customer but of their friends and family, too, as 86% globally claim to spread the word of their disappointment. Yet only 20% of the 5,000 global respondents said they receive excellent customer service from call centers.

Other key findings from the study include:

- 56% of US consumers surveyed expect email to become their regular means of contact in the next two years / 55% globally

- Half of U.S. consumers surveyed are likely to opt to use an automated voice response system when offered.

- Globally 18% said web chat will be their preferred contact method in one to two years compared with just 2% who said it's their most often used method today.

- Globally, 70% of respondents said voice was the method they had used most often contact customer service in the last three months.

"Based on this survey the message from consumers is clear: Time is money!" said Lee Shorten, Avaya managing director, UK & Ireland.

"The less time they spend interacting with your contact center the happier, the more loyal and more lucrative they will be. This is a global trend with European customers amongst the most passionate advocates."

Tags: consumer insight, contact center, customer service, email, telephone

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  • There's a gap between social media and ecommerce. You've got to have relevant queries to get relevant responses, not just mentions or comments. You've got to be proactive. You certainly can't expect businesses to query consumers. The closest you get to that is called advertising. We need a way to engage any number of businesses, anywhere, any time, with a single query. We need a place to manage our queries and responses. We need Q&A for ecommerce. That's inversearch.

  • If companies are looking for a better way to manage their customer service in a timely fashion, than social media is the way to go. People react (especially on Twitter) in real time. Being able to reach out to an respond to customers when they need it most (and not as a reaction somewhere down the line) greatly improves the customer experience.



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