inContact Survey Reveals 67 Percent of Consumers Prefer Agent-Assisted Customer Service

PRESS RELEASE: NICE inContact, a NICE company and the leading provider of cloud contact center software unifying omnichannel routing, workforce optimization and analytics, today announced research identifying the quickest and most preferred methods of issue resolution across 10 different customer service channels.

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The “inContact Customer Experience Transformation Benchmark Study” reveals that, with so many channels available to customers today, organizations are struggling to provide consistent, positive experiences – leaving issues unresolved and customers dissatisfied.

inContact surveyed 700 consumers to better understand organizations’ effectiveness at meeting customer experience expectations, including the areas where companies are succeeding and where they are falling short. The research confirms that agent-assisted customer service with phone, email and chat are the quickest methods of resolution, as 67 percent of customers prefer these methods over self-service.

The survey highlights the importance of having an effective omnichannel strategy to meet the growing consumer demand to contact businesses wherever and however they choose, to resolve customer service issues as quickly as possible. Some of the major findings include:

Less than half of customers are satisfied with communication through agent-assisted and self-service channels related to their recent customer experience

The survey found that less than half of consumers are satisfied with their experience when working through agent-assisted (45 percent) and self-service (39 percent) channels. The findings suggest that both methods have clear strengths and pitfalls when it comes to timely issue resolution. While agent-assisted methods do well at answering customer questions thoroughly, response time can be a huge downfall. Further, self-service channels are praised for being easy, convenient and efficient in providing the information customers need, but they often leave customers frustrated when they wish to speak with a live representative.

Online chat/video and website interactions lead to the highest likelihood of recommending a company or continuing to do business with that company

With eight in 10 customers saying they would leave a company due to a poor service experience, providing quality interactions is crucial to maintaining customer loyalty. The inContact survey found that when customers are able to easily connect with customer service representatives via online chat or video and website interactions, they are more likely to continue doing business with the company and recommend it to others.

Companies need to make it easier to solve problems in the quickest way possible, across all channels

The survey reveals that time is the most important factor when it comes to customer service. In fact, 72 percent of customers expect companies will know their purchase history, in addition to being proactive, and directing them to the quickest path of resolution. Consumers also expect seamless integration across all channels, especially when elevating a conversation from an online chat to a live phone call. Half of respondents say that while their first instinct is to try to handle issues themselves using self-service tools (i.e. online chat), they generally end up on the phone speaking to a live representative.

“As customer service channels continue evolving, companies need to meet customers where they are, whether it is on the phone, email or chat,” said Paul Jarman, CEO at inContact. “As customer service continues to be a key element to business success, it’s no longer sustainable to provide just one method of quick resolution. Companies need to leverage strong cloud contact center technology to empower agents, while also embracing efficient self-service tools, to enable consistent, positive interactions across all channels.”

About This Report

inContact surveyed more than 700 consumers who had experienced a customer service interaction in the past three months. Data was collected between March 1 and 23, 2017. For more information and to download the full research report, please visit: http://response.incontact.com/2017-consumer-research