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 CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Cannes 2017: The Machines Are Here

It’s day 4 in Cannes and among the ever-growing divergent panels, presentations and workshops spanning from one end of the Croisette to the other, there has been a very real emergence of how artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning needs to fit into the marketing ecosystem of today and tomorrow.

Aden Hepburn

Executive creative director and managing director, VML Australia

Is your content marketing missing the mark?

Does it ever seem like the content you create falls flat on its face or that the leads you’re generating aren’t worth following up?

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

​ Creating a purpose-driven brand

So you want to be a brand with purpose. But what does it actually mean to build a brand with real meaning?

Paul Chappell

Partner and managing director, Brand + Story

It is interesting. Rebrand is very good. Perhaps they should change the logo to something more modern. For example as it is - https://www...

David Hill

Grace Group undergoes first rebrand in 30 years to unify and contemporise

Read more

Hey Guys, just one small typo that changes a part of the story :“That was a really big step forward for our company because we didn’t hav...

Damian Young

Chobani tastes success with data analytics platform

Read more

This is amazing! Congratulations to Cochlear for continuing to lead innovation in every way!

Chris

How this marketing ops leader is lifting the automation ante at Cochlear

Read more

Interesting case! It seems like universities can also benefit from marketing automation. I've started using getresponse some time ago and...

Aaren

How marketing automation is helping drive CX change at Adelaide University

Read more

Always great to see and read these success stories and the growth of gamification. This story is very warming and can act as an inspirati...

James Doyle

5 tips to boost engagement with gamification from Donut King

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in