Have you ever wondered about the state of customer care expectations around the world? For example, do customers and contact center leaders experience the same frustrations as we experience in the United States? Have you ever wondered whether consumers in different nations prefer one marketing channel over another? Well, you’re about to find out, as Microsoft recently took a look at customer expectations around the globe.
Microsoft’s survey of approximately 4,000 international consumers—including the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Japan—revealed the reality of customer care worldwide. Despite the differences in language and time zones, by and large, consumers from all corners of the globe agree on many of the same customer care objectives.
Below are some of the most compelling statistics from the study:
- Multichannel use: Japanese customers use an average of just two service channels to interact with a brand or organization, while the U.S. and U.K. customers use an average of four, with customers in Brazil using an average of five.
- Most popular channel: Consumers from all four nations agreed that they usually use the telephone to resolve issues. However, they begin their customer care journey online.
- Most important aspect of good experience: Consumers from all four nations also agree that getting their issues resolved quickly is the most important aspect of a satisfying customer care experience.
- Most frustrating aspect: Survey respondents stated that the two most frustrating aspects of a customer service experience is being passed between agents and having to contact a brand or organization multiple times for the same issue.
- Self-service channel: More than 90 percent of all consumers expect a brand or organization to offer a self-service support portal or frequently asked questions (FAQ) page where they can find the information they need online.
- Social media: More than half of global customers now expect a social media response within 24 hours (66 percent). What’s more, 56 percent say they have a more favorable view of those brands and organizations that respond to their customers on social media.
These findings paint a vivid picture for customer care leaders. Providing a sophisticated multi-channel customer care strategy is more important than ever before. Consumers are using a variety of channels—including telephone, live chat, email, online support portals and social media—to solve their issues.
It’s up to your business to provide a seamless multichannel customer experience that audiences find helpful. For instance, customers should be able to start an interaction on the phone then finish it online with complete ease.
These findings also reveal customers’ biggest frustrations; being passed between agents, having to contact a brand or organization multiple times for the same issue, not being able to reach a live agent and not being able to resolve issues or find information online.
For customer care leaders, it’s important that you have the right technology in place that allows agents to easily resolve problems. For example, agents should have customer information readily available during each interaction, so customers don’t have to unnecessarily repeat information.
Customer care leaders shouldn’t be shocked by the findings above. In fact, these statistics merely reinforce the importance of providing consumers with a superior multichannel customer experience that’s simple, helpful and enjoyable.
Steve Brubaker began his career at InfoCision in 1985. In his current role as Chief of Staff and as a member of the Executive Team, he is responsible for HR, internal and external communications, and manages the company’s legal and compliance departments. Brubaker is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the DMA, SOCAP, and PACE. He also donates his time to serve on several university boards, including the Executive Advisory Board for The Taylor Institute for Direct Marketing at The University of Akron and The University of Akron Foundation Board. He is a frequent speaker for national events and has also been honored with a number of awards and recognitions for his contributions to the call center industry.