Years ago, most businesses banked on winning customers over by providing a top-notch product. If not that, their low prices.
But it’s time to move over to a (not-so) new kid in town: Customer experience.
Customer experience, your customer’s perception of how your company – treats and interacts with them, is a top business priority according to a recent survey conducted by SuperOffice.
Customer experience is key to customer satisfaction. If you treat consumers well, they’ll like you. If you continue providing them a good experience, even after they’ve purchased a product or service, they’ll keep coming back to you. They may even become loyal brand advocates!
If you plan on upping your customer experience game this year, keep reading. We’ll detail:
- Key customer experience statistics to know
- The current landscape of customer expectations
- The impact of data input and retrieval on agents and customer satisfaction
- How AI can help deliver a better customer experience
Let’s dive in.
Customer Experiences with Conversations Across Different Channels
Companies leading the charge in positive customer experience are offering support across a wide array of channels. It makes sense, given that the average person uses nine different platforms to browse products, get advice, and make purchases. Still, some support channels stand out among the crowd: phone, email, chat, and self-service options.
Take a look:
- One third-of all customers use their mobile phone first to reach out to support.
- Among all generations, 66% of Zendesk survey respondents reported that they typically use their phone to resolve an issue with a company.
- Contacting a brand by phone or mobile device moved up in popularity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Millennials use their phones to contact customer service at a rate of 43%.
- 40% of customers prefer talking to a person over the phone when dealing with complicated interactions like payment disputes.
- 51% of customers expect a response in under five minutes on the phone.
- 49% of all customers use email to resolve an issue with a brand.
- 98% of customers use email.
- Email is the preferred support channel for older generations, with nearly 55% of Baby Boomers using it for customer service.
- Over 20% of customers expect a response from a brand’s email in less than an hour.
- Younger generations feel less comfortable reaching out to a company via email.
- Customer satisfaction ratings for live chat are often higher than other support channels.
- Chat has grown by over 300% in usage over the last five years.
- Chat is almost 13x faster than email or online support channels.
- 28% of customers expect a response via chat in less than five minutes.
- 17% of 18-24-year-olds solve their issues with a company via social messaging apps.
- Chat can resolve 80% of all standard questions.
- According to Forrester, customers prefer knowledge bases over all other self-service channels.
- Less than 30% of companies offer self-service, live chat, social messaging, in-app messaging, bots, or peer-to-peer communities.
- 69% of customers want to resolve as many issues as possible on their own.
- Almost 45% of customer support managers surveyed by Zendesk reported growing their help center, knowledge base, or FAQs by 50% in the next year.
- 91% of customers would use an online knowledge base if it were available.
- By 2030, Gartner estimates that a billion service tickets will be raised automatically by customer-owned bots.
Despite some of the statistics suggesting you should opt-in to one channel and out of another, the key to delivering a good customer experience is a seamless omnichannel approach. Customers demand this unified service across the channels they use.
And they expect a lot more, too.
What Customer Expectations Look Like and How it Affects Customer Satisfaction
Customers want to communicate with you using the various channels they prefer. They also want the experience to flow naturally between these channels. If they reach out to you by phone then move to email, they anticipate your company keeping up with the conversation.
What else do they expect?
- Speed – half of all customers pick a support channel based on how quickly they need an answer, with phone and email having the highest expectations for quick responses.
- Complexity – 40% of customers pick their support channel based on how complex their issue is.
Now imagine if your company only offered email support or a chatbot. Sure, you’d get back to your customer quickly. Would you be able to accurately answer their question if it involved a ton of moving parts, though? Maybe not.
That’s where the importance of omnichannel support comes in once again. High-performing terms are more than twice as likely as their counterparts to have this type of customer service. It matters because they’re able to give both their agents and customers options in solving issues. And remember: the more you meet your customers’ expectations, the happier they are. The happier they are, the more loyal they are, which you can measure using metrics like Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) Scores and Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
With an omnichannel approach, you’ll be able to score higher in these categories based on channel. For example, Zendesk data shows that third-party messaging apps have a 98% CSAT. Self-service helps improve one-touch resolution rates, and phone and email are great for speed, which can improve NPS. Combined, this makes your customer support more efficient.
Without it, your efficiency may falter.
Manual Data Handling Impacts Customer Satisfaction
When it comes to delivering a great experience, an omnichannel approach is crucial. So are the right tools, like automation. A lot of your agents’ daily tasks can bog them down, including:
- Manual data entry for tickets.
- Searching through knowledge sources.
- Updating help desks or knowledge bases.
- Routing and escalating tickets.
- Training new agents.
All of this can lead to an inconsistent experience, which customers do not want. Ultimately, you’ll end up with lackluster results in the volume of tickets resolved, deflection rate, satisficiation, and more.
Fortunately, there is a solution that addresses all of the customer statistics, expectations, channels, and metrics we’ve discussed so far. And that’s AI.
How AI Is Changing the Customer Experience
AI is here, and it’s here to stay. You already use AI every day as the technology is working in the background of your favorite apps or websites.
So, why not use it in customer service and support? Top customer support teams are. They use it to deflect tickets, reduce time agents spending answering questions, and save money on operational costs.
At Forethought, we’ve taken every customer service statistic and expectation into account to build an agile, AI-powered agent. Here’s what Agatha can do for you:
- Solve tickets faster and decrease first response time and average handle time.
- Give customers the answers (no matter how simple or complex) they’re looking for with fast, available channels.
- Reduce agent workload and ticket volume by tackling recurring issues.
- Eliminate manual routing, matching customer issues with the right agent.
- Onboard new agents faster.
- Provide the most accurate answers
- Help support an omnichannel approach.
- Get your team up and running with AI in a quick turn-around.
And most importantly: Agatha helps meet your customers’ expectations and improve the customer experience. With Agatha on your side, you’ll be able to craft a customer experience that keeps up with industry statistics — and maybe blows them out of the water?
If you want to learn a little more about Agatha, browse our resources or head to our “Why Agatha?” page.