|By: James Freeze, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Aspect
Customer service interactions have progressed far beyond a telephone call and now include a growing number of online, social and mobile platforms. And while these channels pose new ways for customer service engagement, according to a new survey from Aspect, the phone still remains the most preferred way to seek help. Sixty-three percent of customers agree that the phone is the top channel when it comes to delivering the best customer experience.
But despite the traditional phone ring reigning as king, consumers now have greater control in choosing when, where and how they interact with brands. Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed stated that companies who offer multiple channels for customer service are easier to do business with and 74 percent believe these companies also provide better service.
There is clearly a gap in consumers’ desire for multi-channel service and the number of companies’ providing the option. Case in point - 42 percent of customers agreed they would rather have companies use social media for good customer service than to promote their products or services. However, a mere 1 percent feel that social provides the best customer service. So while customers want social as a customer service option, according to their feedback, they aren’t getting what they want.
So where can companies step up their customer service game and show customers the love? The contact center is emerging as the new center of the customer experience and is the epicenter of customer-company interactions. Unless brands recognize this shift and take customers’ elevated expectations into consideration, they risk being unable to address customer needs. Companies need to move toward the gold standard multi-channel experience where interactions can begin in one channel and seamlessly end in another. Only the companies that adapt to customer preferences and adjust their internal process to address these changes will better their chances of turning their loyal customers into company advocates.