Skip to main content

Report: Contact centers 'out of touch' with consumer needs


Industry observers are reporting that customer service is on the decline. The culprit: contact centers.

The customer experience has worsened over the last two years, despite investments in new engagement channels, according to a new report, “Get it Right: Deliver the Omni-Channel Support Customers Want,” from Ovum and BoldChat. When consumers believe it takes six different interactions to resolve an issue, compared to contact center managers who believe it takes only one or two touch-points, there is clearly a communication gap — and it is taking a toll on customer service.

This disconnect can be largely due to the fact contact centers are still operated in silos. For example, 72% of consumers said they search for information online before contacting an agent, however more than half of contact center managers surveyed (52%) do not track digital behavior. Exacerbating the issue even further is that 86% of consumers reported using five or more channels for support, the report said.

Shoppers are no longer willing to turn a blind eye, as 43% of consumers believe access to agents has worsened over the last two years, and 50% cited frustration with automated response systems. While 68% of participating consumers still believe that phone calls provide the most success for resolution, 78% would choose a channel other than voice if they knew they could get a resolution on the first attempt. Specifically, 60% of consumers want organizations to improve access to Web support channels including social media, communities and live chat, data revealed.

“The disparity between the perception of contact centers and the reality of consumers when it comes to customer experience is worrisome as every interaction is proving to be critical to customer retention,” said Ken Landoline, principal analyst, customer engagement at Ovum.

Consumers have clearly had their fill of increasingly disappointing customer experience, as 82% reported that they will stop doing business with a company following a bad experience, the study said.

“To avoid this scenario, it is critical that brands identify friction points in the customer journey, and offer their reps the tools and technology to help improve the overall customer experience from pre-purchase through post-purchase support,” he said.
This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds