It’s no longer just about your products and prices—two-thirds of consumers in a new survey report from customer and employee experience firm Medallia say that negative customer service interactions motivate them to consider switching to a competitor brand—a clear indication that organizations must double-down on personalized experiences or risk losing customers.
The firm’s new report, The New Customer Expectations for the Contact Center: Understanding the Key Factors Shaping the Customer Service Experience, affirms that contact centers are now being recognized by innovative organizations as foundational pieces to improving customer experiences, driving customer retention, and gaining an advantage over the competition—all of which are mission-critical, especially in today’s uncertain times.
The survey looked at consumers’ customer service expectations across generations, how they feel about bots and automated support interactions, and what businesses can do to strengthen customer loyalty.
Key findings from the report include:
- Seventy-three percent of consumers say they would like to provide feedback about their experience after a customer service interaction, but are more likely to do so with positive experiences compared to negative experiences.
- Ninety-five percent of survey takers say it’s important that contact center agents help them find a solution that meets their needs and that they take the time to understand why they’re contacting customer service.
- The ability to communicate with a real person (not a bot), get instant responses, and have complaints resolved in real time are the top three factors customers care most about when choosing a customer support channel.
- Ninety-six percent of consumers say demonstrating empathy during a customer service interaction is important.
- When customer service issues arise, most consumers aren’t willing to spend more than 5 to 10 minutes looking for information online or waiting on hold.
- Fifty-eight percent of respondents say waiting up to five minutes on hold is reasonable. If given the chance to receive a call back instead of holding, 66 percent of consumers would prefer this option.
- Talking to a human representative is the first channel of choice for Baby Boomers, while using online or mobile chat is the preferred channel for Gen Z and Millennial consumers.
“Organizations that recognize the true potential of the contact center and invest in efforts to improve those experiences will be positioned to reduce operational costs, increase customer retention, and get ahead of the competition,” said Rachel Lane, contact center solutions principal at Medallia, in a news release. “In a time when consumers across generations expect empathy and understanding—or else they will look for that experience with another brand—it’s critical for contact centers to provide personalized experiences for their customers.”
In October 2022, the Medallia Institute and Medallia’s consumer behavioral intelligence and benchmarking platform analyzed the results of a survey of 1,047 U.S consumers who indicated they had interacted with a company’s customer service team within the previous six months.