Report: Customer service is getting worse, not better

New report based on surveys of consumers and customer service representatives shows increased reliance on digital channels for information but disconnects in how brands address service

Customer experiences with Australian and New Zealand brands are getting worse, not better, if a new report is to be believed.

A new study undertaken by Ovum and sponsored by BoldChat by LogMeIn claims customer experience has worsened over the last two years, despite investments into new engagement channels. The report was based on a survey of contact centre managers and consumers globally including A/NZ.

For a start, there was a discrepancy between what resolution looks like. Consumers surveyed said they believed it takes six different interactions to resolve an issue, while surveyed contact centre managers believe it only takes one to two touchpoints. According to the report authors, the disconnect could be attributed to the fact that 72 per cent of consumers surveyed search for information online before contacting an agent, yet 52 per cent of contact centre managers are not tracking digital behaviour.

In A/NZ, 60 per cent of consumers reported using at least five channels for support, and 46 per cent said access to agents had worsened over the last two years. Half of all consumers surveyed also expressed frustration with automated response systems.

The top two priorities for A/NZ customers is for organisations to improve access to Web support channels such as social media, communities and live chat (52 per cent), followed by faster agent response times (51 per cent).

In addition, two-thirds of participating consumers said phone calls provide the most success for resolution, but 77 per cent would choose a channel other than voice if they believed they could get a resolution on the first attempt.

There was also a clear indication of the impact of digital on customer service in the report. Use of live chat, for example, had increased from 35 per cent in 2014, the last time the report was conducted, to 43 per cent in 2016. The report also found 56 per cent of consumers are calling from a smartphone, and 83 per cent of those surveyed said they use mobile apps for customer support, while 67 per cent use mobile websites.

The implications of poor customer experience were also clear. In A/NZ, 90 per cent of the consumers surveyed said they will stop doing business with a company following a bad experience, a much higher result than the 82 per cent average globally.

“The disparity between the perception of contact centres and the reality of consumers when it comes to customer experience is worrisome as every interaction is proving to be critical to customer retention,” commented principal analyst for customer engagement, Ken Landoline.

“Because customers will stop doing business with a company following a bad experience, it is critical that brands identify friction points in the customer journey and offer their reps the tools and technology to help improve the overall customer experience from pre-purchase through post-purchase support.”

The report was based on a survey of 300 contact centre managers and 400 customers.

Vice-president of customer engagement and support solutions at LogMeIn, David Campbell, said the onus is on brands to provide fast, efficient and frictionless services. The challenge is most contact centres struggle to meet these expectations because they are limited by disjointed, legacy systems.

“We see many forward-thinking businesses overcome these challenges by prioritising investments in solutions that unify their engagement strategies across traditional and digital channels,” he added.

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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

Hey WhatsApp chatbots need to be added to a business’ tool belt to engage with the always-on customers. Easy to build in literally 5 step...

Unnit Dedhia

How chatbot marketing brought a supernatural exhibition to digital life

Read more

We’re seeing an increase in customer loyalty after businesses began implementing Live Chat. Here’s your one-stop guide on Live Chat suppo...

Fiza Syed

Customer loyalty in the time of COVID-19

Read more

JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 EN590Dear Buyer/ Buyer mandateWe currently have Available FOB Rotterdam/Houston for JP54,D2, D6, JetA1 with good and w...

Collins Johnson

Oath to fully acquire Yahoo7 from Seven West Media

Read more

Hi This is George, Thanks for sharing this nice information about foodpanda blockchain. During this pandemic situation food delivery indu...

George David

foodpanda launches blockchain-based out-of-home advertising campaign

Read more

Did anyone proofread this document before it was published?

Beau Ushay

CMO Momentum 2020: How to embrace agile marketing

Read more

Blog Posts

Innovate or die

It’s hard to know if famed management and marketing guru, Peter Drucker, coined this phrase for dramatic effect. My belief is he was emphasising the notion that few products and markets are static and few organisations can survive without innovation.

Michael Valos

Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Deakin University

Commissioning personas that get used

How to avoid the bottom drawer, and how to get value from the work you’ve paid for

Melanie Wiese

Chief strategy officer, Wunderman Thompson

Why It’s Going To Be A Bumper Holiday Season Despite the Pandemic

Behavioural science expert Dan Monheit, co-founder and strategy director of creative agency, Hardhat, writes that marketing chiefs should hold their nerve, as they have reason to be optimistic

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in