New research from Conduent Incorporated, a digital interactions company, finds that despite increased options for digital customer communications, brands’ ability to meet consumer expectations for sales, service and experience is declining.
Conduent’s Consumer Experience Report found the stakes are high: 58 percent of customers in the technology, retail, communications and media industries report they are likely or willing to change brands to seek better experiences, a 12 percent increase from last year.
Across the board, customers expect an end-to-end consumer experience, with businesses offering high-quality, consistent service across multiple channels. Brands are falling short of these expectations: one in four consumers believe brand experiences have not improved in the last 10 years.
Rise of the self-help customer
61 percent of consumers surveyed prefer to resolve their own issues rather than work with a representative from the company, an increase of 12 percent since 2017. Customers expect brands to provide things like FAQ pages and digital assistants to empower them to do so quickly; 66 percent of consumers want a 10-minute resolution to any issue.
Roadblocks cited include insufficient detail in the FAQ (12 percent) and a solution not existing online (23 percent), forcing a call to customer service or an in-person visit.
Developing the end-to-end consumer experience
81 percent of all customer interactions with businesses in the future will be digital, but one size does not fit all. People have varied preferred communication channels, and they expect businesses to be consistently available on all of those channels.
For example, 11 percent of respondents from the technology industry have contacted a business via SMS, 15 percent and 14 percent have interacted with a business via Facebook and Twitter respectively, and 25 percent have used email. Among tech customers, consumer satisfaction with available communication channels scored an average of just 13 percent among the same group, with no marked improvement from 2017.
“The results of this year’s Consumer Experience Report are a wake-up call for brands,” said Christine Landry, Group Chief Executive, Conduent, Consumer & Industrials. “It’s no longer a matter of if companies implement technologies like artificial intelligence, but when. There is a great opportunity to apply automation across digital platforms to break down data silos between channels and offer the immediacy, individualization and intelligence that make up a great customer experience.”
To meet these changing consumer preferences, Conduent offers a suite of online self-care tools, including a digital agent that delivers a personalized experience to support customers at every stage of the lifecycle. The company’s customer service outsourcing solutions offer a range of end-to-end consumer experience tools for brands looking to increase automation and call deflection, as well as provide a holistic view of customers across all touchpoints.
About the Report
The 2018 Consumer Experience Report was conducted via an online panel in August and September 2018 on behalf of Conduent and surveyed 8,020 consumers in the United States (3,220), the U.K. (1,600), Germany (1,600) and the Netherlands (1,600). The study is available in four editions: Technology, Communications, Retail and Media.
Conduent creates digital platforms and services for businesses and governments to manage millions of interactions every day for those they serve. We are leveraging the power of cloud, mobile and IoT, combined with technologies such as automation, cognitive and blockchain to elevate every constituent interaction, driving modern digital experiences that are more efficient, helpful and satisfying.
Conduent’s differentiated offerings touch millions of lives every day, including two-thirds of all insured patients in the U.S. and nearly nine million people who travel through toll systems daily. Whether it’s digital payments, claims processing, benefit administration, automated tolling, customer care or distributed learning – Conduent serves a majority of the Fortune 100 companies and more than 500 government entities. Learn more at www.conduent.com.