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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : September 19, 2016

60% of consumers want customer support channels improved

Call centers are holding back the customer support experience, according to new research from Ovum and BoldChat, with most consumers preferring to avoid voice.

by Helen Leggatt

Despite new technology and investment by call centers, the Ovum/BoldChat report, 'Get it Right: Deliver the Omni-Channel Support Customers Want' report found that the customer experience has dwindled over the last two years. Sixty percent of consumers said they want companies to improve access to their support channels by implementing live chat, social media and communities.

The top three contact center issues among consumers were "annoying" automated phone systems, difficulty in reaching a human representative, and waiting times to reach a human representative.


The communication gap between call centers and consumers, as identified by the research, is telling. While contact center managers believe it takes only one or two touchpoints to resolve an issue, consumer perception is much worse with many believing it takes six different touchpoints to sort out. In fact, while more than two-thirds (68%) believe a telephone call is still the route most likely to lead to successful resolution, more (78%) would avoid this channel if they were sure they could get the same success, at the first attempt, using other channels.

"The disparity between the perception of contact centers and the reality of consumers when it comes to customer experience is worrisome as every interaction is proving to be critical to customer retention," said Ken Landoline, principal analyst, customer engagement at Ovum.

The result of a bad customer experience is obvious and, indeed, 82% of those surveyed for the Ovum/BoldChat research said they would stop dealing with a company after a bad experience. In Australia, that figure rises to 90%.

Tags: call center, customer experience, customer service, customer touchpoints

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