As per a recent study led by a consumer experience platform UJET, 72% of consumers between the age of 18 to 64 said that the option of text chatting with a live agent improves their overall digital customer experience.
The study shows that people prefer to have more support channels that are text-based and that most of the people value “human interactions” over technology-enabled channels (chatbots).
Text-Based Digital Customer Experience Channels v/s Video-Based Support Channels
Text-based customer support channels like SMS, email, in-app messaging, are preferred channels over live video support. While text support was ranked Number 1, email and in-app messaging were runners-up.
The study also revealed that people expect more than just mentioning a support email id on your website. They prefer when they can contact Email support with a question or an issue description, and the support team replies back with a solution.
The least preferred communication choice for customer support was live video chat with an agent. Only a meagre 42% of the study respondents said it would improve their customer support experience.
It also came out that the use of fingerprint or facial recognition tech to distinguish and approve an account was positioned low on the list of customer’s desirable features. Only 43% of people said the tech-enabled services improve customer experience.
This is contrary to where a lot of businesses are headed towards – enabling chatbots for every possible customer touchpoint including support.
Human Touch wins over Technology
In the list of factors that were most likely to influence positive customer support experiences, “Helpfulness of agent” was on top of the list.
Speed of initial contact from the brand (or First-Response Turn Around Time) was named as the second most influential factor.
Contrary to what a lot of companies believe, just 6% of the respondents felt that an experience that “felt customized” was the main factor behind a positive customer support experience. Ironically, a lot of communication experts have been propagating the importance of personalisation at every touchpoint.
The way that purchasers rank “supportive operators” over “personalization” focuses on the significance of offering one-on-one connections with a real client care rep over tech-empowered personalization abilities.
This demonstrates that just adding personalization like “Hey Puneet!” in technology-driven communication or chatbots is not enough. People would still like talking on chat support with a real human.
But this doesn’t mean that brands shouldn’t dismiss the importance of technology while they are building their customer support capabilities.
67% of the respondents said that they would find having the option to upload and share a photo to a customer experience specialist.
66% felt similar about transferring and sharing a screen capture and 55% said that they would want to have the option to transfer a video file to the customer experience specialist.
Most people are still calling customer support on the phone
While the study discovered that people need more text-based customer support choices, it additionally revealed that the vast majority of people are still dependent on phone calls when it comes to customer service.
46% of the respondents said there’s a high chance they will use a phone call when it comes to reaching a company’s support team.
For e-commerce customers, the number is even higher. 53% of e-commerce customers said they are most likely to call the support team on phone.
For older age-groups (55 to 64), 69% of people prefer calling customer support on the phone. This high percentage could be attributed to the fact that this particular age group is not as tech-savvy as the younger ones.
Across demographics, email comes in second after phone-calls as the currently popular channels for customer support. But when we look at age-groups, three age-group segments use emails for customer support seeking extensively:
- 25 – 34
- 35 – 44
- 45 – 54.
Approximately 25% of the respondents said they use SMS as of now to message the customer support. A reason why Phone-calls and SMS’s are used for customer support is that the e-commerce companies have been using them as customer support methods for a while now and it is difficult to introduce new channels.
Why are these insights important for you?
If you are running a business or helping a business meet their goals, it is extremely critical for you to understand the customer journey.
Some businesses make the mistake of thinking of the journey only until the sale is made. But it’s important to remember that the journey continues.
An optimum customer journey map consists of three stages:
- Pre Sales
- Post Sales
A key element of building a comprehensive customer experience implies giving your customers multiple ways to get in touch with your customer support teams.
Brands that presently rely on telephonic and email customer support can benefit greatly by moving away from the conventional customer service channels (phone and email) and explore more modern-day solutions like web chat, SMS and in-application messaging.
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