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

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

Putting experience design and strategy in the spotlight

​A few years ago, there was lots of chatter about the elusive UX unicorn; a mythical person capable of delivering everything from research to design to development. It became an obsession for the industry, sparking debate about whether this was the metaphor for how unreasonable our expectations of designers had become, while some felt it was what all designers should be aspiring to.

Tracy Brown

Experience design strategy director, DT

Making sense of artificial intelligence

When new trends and technologies burst onto the marketing scene, there’s always a frantic effort to either keep up or provide guidance, especially when serious amounts of money are involved. It happened with social media, it happened with personalisation and big data, and it’s happening now with artificial intelligence.

Phil Whitehouse

Asia-Pacific innovation lead, DigitasLB

Martech will definitely make everything better especially when it comes to marketing and sales. Any business not comfortable with it shou...

TapAnalytics

Marketo’s CEO talks martech industry consolidation and his enterprise customer ambitions

Read more

You can also try this leads to revenue calculator tool (it's free): https://www.strategic-ic.co.uk...

Fes Askari

​The dangers of misaligning your marketing budget with business goals

Read more

“We wanted to provide was a way for a customer to have a seamless experience as they went across channels,” Marrocco added. “So if your c...

Sarah

​Telstra’s mission to match the offline experience with online customer service

Read more

You have the right to know what happened that made AI possible, after all these years.I discovered and patented statistics on unstructure...

Ilya Geller

Making sense artificial intelligence - Food for thought - CMO Australia

Read more

I hope this trickles down to job opportunities and more analytics based careers on the government.

Ale Xandra

Australian Open details data analytics improvements driving digital fan engagement

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in