Synthetix, the customer service software company, has published its first consumer survey. The new research, undertaken amongst a diverse demographic of 500 US and UK consumers, is available online at www.synthetix.com this week. It demonstrates how consumer opinion is swinging conclusively towards self-service as a channel of choice.
The Synthetix survey shows:
- Web self-service is the primary channel for customers sourcing information for after-sales service.
- 90% of consumers will always check a website first before emailing or calling a company.
- 89% are ‘more satisfied’ when they get answers online quickly.
Synthetix’s findings clearly illustrate that with the increasing number of touchpoints available, consumers actively prefer to be able to self-serve online. Expectations now are for 24/7, fast, consistent service and the conclusion has to be that online customer service is no longer a strategy for the 'future'. Customers expect it now, but for many organisations, implementing some form of online self-service for customers is still on the to-do list. The Synthetix research suggests that this could be a commercially damaging mistake.
Synthetix asked consumers to rate their service experience when using more than one channel to contact a company. Findings suggest that consumers are craving consistency over multiple channels. According to the survey:
- 91% of consumers expect to receive consistent information over multiple customer contact channels.
- 65% have received inconsistent information when contacting brands via multiple channels.
- 74% rank a poor multi-channel experience as a major annoyance.
This clearly demonstrates the need for businesses to look at implementing a centralised and well maintained knowledge-base that can provide customers with consistent information across all communication channels, be it via a website, contact centre agent, social media or mobile; ensuring customers receive the same experience, regardless of which touchpoint they choose to contact you over. If this side of a company’s customer service fails, then there is a chance that its multi-channel strategy will be flawed from the outset, and could actually do an organisation more harm than good.
The survey finds that a quarter of consumers would use live chat to contact customer service representatives if they cannot self-serve; three-quarters of people want to use smartphones for self-service; and more than half of consumers now expect companies to provide customer service via social media such as Facebook. This only reinforces the conclusion that a multi-channel service – with web self-service at the centre – is the correct strategy.
Another major finding of the Synthetix survey is how important the overall concept of customer service (on or offline) has become to customers. The figures are definitive on this point but unfortunately, they also point to the fact that many organisations are still failing in this area. The results of the survey showed that:
- After-sales customer service is now an important factor for 9 out of 10 of consumers.
- However, only 1 in 10 consumers are completely happy with the customer service they currently receive.
- And 9 out of 10 people would move to a competitor due to poor customer service.
Peter McKean, Managing Director of Synthetix said: “One of the positive findings from this survey is that nine out of ten people feel loyal towards a company when customer service is done well. The vast majority of consumers prefer to self-serve answers to their questions online over calling or e-mailing, and all they ask is that you pay this area due attention and keep their multi-channel experience consistent. If you do, the view from consumers is that this kind of service delivery will become the new status quo for the years and decades to come.”
To download the full survey go to http://www.synthetix.com/downloads.php or call 01223 393508.
For further information contact:
Adam Ashcroft, Tel: 01223 393671, Mob: 07808 129 300, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org,
- Synthetix Ltd is a developer of multi-channel online customer service solutions. Founded in 2001, Synthetix has unparalleled expertise in the field of 'Online Customer Service’ design and deployment.
- The company has become the marketing, customer service and web usability technology choice for blue-chip brands including the BBC, Virgin Holidays, Best Western Hotels, Unilever, Northumbrian Water, Principality Building Society , Low Cost Holidays, Yorkshire Building Society, Wessex Water, Mark Warner Holidays, easyJet Holidays and Welsh Water.