A new customer service survey shows that many consumers are growing tired of traditional customer service support models. It suggests the answer may be digital service channels, such as text messaging support.
The survey, which was carried out by Corvisa, a call center software and cloud communications company based in Milwaukee, is called the “Customer Service Report.”
The survey found that nearly half (48 per cent) of all respondents said they’d ceased doing business with a company as a result of a negative customer service experience. In fact, almost one in five (18 per cent) said they’d become so enraged with their customer service experience that they yelled at the call center agent on the phone. Another 40 per cent said they’d hung up on a call center agent.
The survey also revealed, to some extent, why consumers get so upset with customer service. Well over half said they feel lowering hold times is an area where businesses can improve – up substantially (16 per cent) from Corvisa’s last Customer Service Report. A separate report (conducted by ClickSoftware) supports that finding, suggesting that long wait times cost American businesses approximately $130 billion each year.
Another problem outlined by the Corvisa survey: almost all respondents (99 per cent) said they feel customer service agents often sound scripted – suggesting they’re coming into a conversation with a clear agenda that may not prioritize the customer’s interests. About one in four respondents said customer service agents should receive more training to sound more natural when on the phone.
Brandon Knight, an executive at Corvisa and an expert on contact center support, says it’s “hard for agents to convey empathy with the customer when every word is pre-planned,” adding that a more effective approach may be to “instill general conversation guidelines and workflows” and “communicate in a more authentic way.”
The survey also revealed that consumers are growing more and more interested in communicating with companies through text messaging. In fact, well over three-quarters (77 per cent) said they were open to exchanging messages with companies in this way. That number rises to 88 per cent when the respondents are millennials.
Matt Lautz, Corvisa’s chief executive officer, says the survey shows many companies would benefit from using this kind of communication channel to reach out to customers before a problem has been discovered. “Proactive care is looking at the behavior of your customers [and] calling them … before they notice there’s a problem,” Lautz said.