Poor service not only wastes customers’ time and costs them money but can bring one out of ten of them to tears, according to a recent study from Pegasystems.
The Cambridge, Mass.-based firm, which provides a range of customer relationship and automation tools, commissioned market research firm Savanta to survey close to 13,000 people for its report, titled Resolution Revolution.
Even if they didn’t actually cry, more than a quarter of customers, or 27 per cent, said bad service had ruined their entire day. This helps explain why 77 per cent they typically respond to poor customer service by taking their business elsewhere.
Despite the talk within the CX community of the value in providing omnichannel service, meanwhile, a majority of 80 per cent of businesses surveyed admitted that the quality of service provided across all channels is not the same. Though 70 per cent of firms say they are balancing four channels, or more, 80 per cent said they didn’t not believe they understood their customers very well or well.
The Pega report’s authors suggested this represents a huge barrier in meeting customer expectations. For instance, three-quarters of customers surveyed said a fast, final resolution to their problem is a top priority. And staff on the front lines know it.
“They are increasingly cognizant of the frictions that customers face – and many of these friction points challenge their departments as well.,” the report said. “It comes as little surprise then that many of the challenges they face often align to the top frustrations of customers themselves.”
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There may not be a lot of surprises in Pegasystems’ 24-page report, but many organizations obviously need a reminder that many customer service gaps remain unaddressed.
As you might expect given the vendor’s product offerings, the recommendations point to the potential of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to reduce the complexity in customer service and get on top of the biggest issues (such as forcing customers to repeat themselves).
A CX leader interested in sharing these findings might start by looking into the stats sprinkled mid-way through the report, which show the obliviousness of those in the C-suite. Nearly three-quarters, for example (72 per cent) of businesses believe their organization provides better customer service vs. the competition. And 21 per cent don’t believe their departments are facing these kinds of challenges.
Think about using this data to kick-start a reality check within your own firm, and whether there is any internal data available against which you could benchmark the Pegasystems findings.
Shane Schick tells stories that help people innovate, and to manage the change innovation brings. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and Yahoo Canada and is the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.