Report: Don't forgo human element for digital in customer service

New Accenture report shows more than half of Australian consumers surveyed have switched providers in the past year due to poor customer service

More than half of Australian consumers have switched providers in the past year due to poor customer service, a new Accenture report claims.

The 11th annual global Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement report, which included responses from more than 1350 Australians, found 81 per cent of local consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer service issues. The report also found 55 per cent had switched provider in the past year due to poor customer service, with retailers, banks and Internet service providers the worst offenders.

According to Accenture, the estimated cost of these switching activities is $122 billion.

In addition, 48 per cent said they are willing to pay a higher price for goods and services if it ensures a better level of service. Eighty-one per cent also prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to get advice.

Just over four in five Aussie consumers admitted they find it ‘frustrating’ or extremely frustrating’ dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them, and 61 per cent will not go back once they have left a provider. Just over 40 per cent globally also said they will turn to social media to complain about poor customer experiences.

Accenture Strategy managing director for A/NZ, Luca Martini, said the problem was that there was too much reliance on digital technologies by organisations, which had led to ‘human-less’ customer services.

“Companies have lost sight of the importance of human interaction and often make it too difficult for consumers to get the right level of help and service that they need,” she said. “The beauty of the possibilities offered by today’s technology is that the human touch can be blended into the digital experience [and vice versa], allowing companies to deliver amazing customer service across all channels, while removing the usual pain points.”

The global report was based on a survey of 24,489 consumers globally.

Accenture offered up several key pieces of advice for those organisations based of the results. The first is to put the human and physical elements back into customer services and think about service in terms of experience, rather than methods of interaction.

Companies should also make it easy for customers to switch channels to get the experiences they need. Accenture also advised rooting out the most toxic customer experiences across channels to support their service investment strategies, while also guaranteeing personal data security.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

10 ways of changing your culture through self-awareness

Did you hear about the manager who always shot the messenger whenever they brought bad news? He eventually stopped hearing bad news. Unfortunately for him, this wasn’t because there was none to report.

Steve Glaveski

Co-founder, Collective Campus

How to create a compelling customer experience vision

Organisations are seeking new ways to engage customers, drive new sales and increase customer satisfaction by providing engaging customer experiences. A customer experience initiative that lacks a strong, clear vision often fails to achieve its intended result.

Olive Huang

Research director, Gartner

Marketers are driving our innovation ecosystem

The Government's newly released National Innovation and Science Agenda shows that for economic growth to continue within Australia, an 'innovation ecosystem' must be fostered, where new businesses with new ideas are encouraged to grow and flourish. With every company wanting to increase, retain or improve their customers’ experiences, this makes marketing vital to fuelling Australia's ideas boom.

Lee Tonitto

CEO, Australian Marketing Institute

Agreed. I see the opposite problem quite often where people are tasked in an organisation just with "be creative" - thus offering no boun...

Dr Fiona Kerr

The great debate: Is data killing creativity?

Read more

By far, this is the best article I've come across so far that has a relevant information regarding the future of marketing. Although the ...

Jayden Chu

​Six ways to prepare for the future of digital marketing

Read more

These are some good ideas. You didn't touch on the overarching goals and results of brand loyalty. This article does a good job at provid...

hgsupport

Four ways to use social media to boost customer loyalty

Read more

This read like a PR PLUG for the agency. Very flowery language for the agency and very little details about the deal or the project.

Digital_Marketer

Why Tourism Victoria decided to go agile

Read more

This is a rather useful article! This prediction made in the digital marketing trend is very important to improve the service that the ag...

Adam Way

Digital marketing predictions – Part 2: Getting the strategy right

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in