While more and more companies may be focused on automating customer interactions (just look at Taco Bell’s new TacoBot or Kik or Facebook’s bot stores), new research from Accenture Strategy found that customers still value a human touch.
According to Accenture’s 11th annual Global Consumer Pulse Research survey, over 75% of customers prefer human customer service. The report also found that “consumers are more than twice as likely to be upsold (45 percent vs. 18 percent) through a human interaction than through a digital channel.” The survey gathered insights from more than 24,000 participants in more than 30 countries and 11 industries.
Accenture’s survey also found that good service can have a significant financial impact on a company. Over 45% of customers are willing to pay a company more for a better service experience. In addition, the survey found that 68% of customers who switch companies due to poor service will not go back, and 80% feel that the company could have done something to keep them around. These dissatisfied customers can ultimately end up hurting a business–poor customer service ends up costing companies $1.6 trillion.
Finally, the survey also mentioned the important of providing seamless, integrated cross-channel experiences. Nearly 75% of customers expect customer service to be easier and more convenient, while 61% of customers expect service to be faster. Part of this comes from making sure a company provides an omnichannel service experience. The report also suggested that companies focus on delivering great customer experiences rather than trying to offer every single channel across the board.
As this report points out, it’s important to remember that some customers are looking for human customer service and want to be able to contact that agent quickly and easily. Key takeaways from this survey should be a focus on the human to human customer service (automation can still play a role) and making sure that support channels are integrated.
Image of young lady talking on the phone courtesy of Kaboompics.