For any brand, having an omnipresent personal touch is the key to a superb customer experience. Without it, customers will find another place to shop. Nearly 75% of U.K. adults indicated they would change suppliers based on a poor experience with the contact center — with 46% of these consumers confirming they had already switched for this reason, according to new research from Mitel.
Delivering a poor customer experience can have a significant impact on a brand. The Mitel online survey of 2,000 U.K. adults last month revealed the important role of contact centers in driving customer loyalty and retention. The survey results revealed that personal touch is critical to delivering a positive customer experience, followed by fast and effective service.
The most important factor for consumers when contacting a brand or company is being able to interact with a real person, not an automated service (54%), followed by getting a quick response (49%) and having a question or problem resolved immediately (44%).
The survey report presents a variety of insights into how consumers want to interact with brands in today’s multichannel world and why.
Email is by far the most popular channel at this time, used by 72% of respondents. Less established communication methods such as live chat and social media are currently used by 10% of U.K. adults — although the signs are that these channels will grow in importance, with one in five adults under 35 already using Facebook or Twitter to contact brands.
The research also revealed the critical role of the telephone in the customer service communications mix and in driving customer satisfaction. It is currently used by 49% of consumers when they contact companies, and is the No. 1 one channel of choice for voicing frustration.
Premium rate numbers, getting cut off mid-call, being left on hold, and automated telephone services all rank in the top five frustrations of U.K. consumers when contacting a brand or service, via any channel. In comparison, only 13% of survey respondents ranked not receiving a response to an email in their top five dislikes.
“We live in a world where consumers are in charge and switching your supplier is routine and easily achievable,” Todd Simons, Mitel’s Director Solutions Marketing, said in the report. “Companies need to work hard to both retain customers and attract new ones. These insights into customer behavior and preferences give companies a chance to examine their own services and make necessary changes. Customer service teams need solutions that will empower them to deliver high levels of service across every channel, and our research shows that getting this right over the telephone can have an impact on a company’s bottom line.”