Digital has surpassed voice. According to a study by J.D. Power, online service tools have won over traditional phone-based care as more wireless customers are resolving inquiries online, either through self-service tools or via live chat.
Increased satisfaction accompanies the adoption of digital tools. Over the period of one year, customer care satisfaction in the wireless sector increased from 715 to 738. More specifically, satisfaction was 220 points higher for customers whose most recent inquiry was resolved online versus those whose inquiries were not (J.D. Power).
Speed of service plays a substantial role in generating high satisfaction rates. J.D. Power found that, on a scale of 1000, an issue resolved within five minutes online resulted in a score of 830 points, whereas an issue resolved in 10 minutes or more resulted in a score of 677 points.
Digital customer care is known for its speed. While browsing a company’s website, a customer can easily initiate a chat session and receive a response from an agent within a couple of minutes. The fact that the user must remain tied to the live chat window is perhaps the channel’s only shortcoming. Being forced to wait for the agent’s reply can dampen a customer’s exuberance. This is why customers prefer messaging over any other digital channel: they can communicate at their convenience, on the go. As expected, satisfaction scores for customer service over SMS texting are delightfully high (90%), while voice-based service only receives a 77% satisfaction rate (CFI).
In a highly-saturated market, customer experience has become the key differentiator for wireless providers. Positive customer experiences translate into increased loyalty rates; in fact, J.D. Power found that nearly half of all customers with satisfaction scores exceeding 900 points (delighted customers) said they would definitely never switch to another provider. Conversely, poor customer service is the second greatest factor contributing to customer churn rates for mobile carriers in the US (Rusby and Sale). Considering that it costs five to 25 times more to attract new customers than to retain existing customers, delighting customers should always be a priority—regardless of industry vertical.
As customer experience becomes a critical priority for many companies, the digital world offers new technologies which can be leveraged as tools for delighting customers. It’s just a matter of harnessing the power of those tools…and quickly.
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