Omnichannel Customer Service Stagnant or Worse

Customer service provided by businesses across touchpoints is worse or about the same as a year ago

Sunnyvale, CAAugust 23, 2015eGain, a provider of cloud customer engagement solutions, announced the findings of a survey of 10,000 consumers in the U.S. Sponsored by eGain and conducted by Forrester Consulting, the State of Omnichannel Customer Service: 2015 survey assessed customer perceptions of omnichannel customer service, compared to a year ago.

Context

According to Accenture’s Global Consumer Pulse Research, 64 percent of consumers switched their business to another provider due to poor service in 2014. These defections created a switching economy worth $6.2 trillion dollars across 17 key markets, a 26 percent increase over 2010. In the same survey, only 11 percent of consumers strongly agreed that companies are effectively converging digital, mobile, social and traditional channels, widely referred to as omnichannel customer service today. To assess the current state of this vital imperative, which was at a low point in 2014, eGain commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a large-scale consumer survey.

Methodology

10,000 U.S. consumers were asked online if omnichannel customer service got better, stayed about the same or got worse, compared to a year ago. Specifically, they were asked to rate their  experience in the following modes of service interaction: Multiple channels during the same interaction, multiple people (service personnel) in the same interaction, call center customer service, Internet video recording (IVR) self-service, web self-service and agent-assisted web customer service. Detailed information can be found at http://www.egain.com/resources/research/egain-forrester-socs-consumer-survey/.

Key Findings

A majority of consumers rated customer service as about the same or worse in all the modes of customer service; the percentage for each mode is listed below:

  • Multiple channels in the same service interaction: 65 percent.
  • Multiple people (service personnel) in the same service interaction: 70 percent.
  • Call center customer service: 68 percent.
  • IVR self-service: 67 percent.
  • Web self-service: 63 percent.
  • Agent-assisted web customer service: 61 percent.

Viewpoints

“Disconnected point solutions and lack of knowledge, as evident from our previous consumer survey, disrupt customer journeys,” said Ashu Roy, eGain CEO. “An omnichannel customer engagement hub, powered by a smart knowledge engine, can help deliver easy, on-target service journeys, both for the customer and the agent.”

Ian Jacobs, et al. of Forrester Research write, “Today's consumers use many communication channels and touchpoints to request customer service. In addition, channel and touchpoint preferences change rapidly as new devices and modes of communication gain favor. Customers also expect contact center agents to be aware of any prior interactions they have had with a customer service organization. Make sure to build a well-integrated multichannel architecture, backed by a solid foundation of knowledge management, to support these consumer demands” in the report: TechRadar For AD&D Pros: Contact Center Solutions for Customer Service, Q1 2015.

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