Customer Experience Emerges As 2020 Bright Spot: Consumers See Positive Shift in Service And Signal Increasing Digital Engagement
Survey of more than 4,000 consumers from the US, UK, France and Germany shows organizations making strides in CX despite challenging times; points to rise in use of online options
The results of new research from Mitel®, a global leader in business communications, offer encouraging signs for CX and point to areas where IT decision-makers should prioritize improvements as they look beyond today’s challenging business environment. The research polled more than 4,000 consumers in the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany to gauge the pandemic’s current impact on CX, anticipated effects, and identify opportunities for organizations to better meet customer expectations now and exceed them longer term.
CX has improved during COVID-19, according to 60 percent of consumers
While the demands on customer service operations and contact centers, particularly, have increased since the onset of COVID-19, many organizations appear to be adapting well. Six in 10 consumers have noticed and say they’ve seen positive shifts in CX. This suggests a healthy number of organizations do, in fact, view CX as an extension of the products or services they provide and are finding ways to deliver better CX, even in unpredictable times.
The research also validates that the foundations for good and bad CX are mostly universal with only slight regional differences. Among the top drivers equated with good CX: friendly, helpful, knowledgeable customer representatives (55%); responsiveness and fast service (45%); and communication that informs every step of the way (35%). Bad CX, on the other hand, stands in stark contrast. Consumers attribute bad CX to being transferred multiple times and having to repeat oneself over and over (48%); being placed on hold (46%); and having too many steps to navigate (35%).
Traditional communication channels still dominate, but use of digital options is growing
Unsurprisingly, over 40 percent of those surveyed also said their use of online customer services has increased this year; however, of that number, more than 70% said they will rely on digital options more going forward, validating general speculation that consumer and business trends are headed for a permanent shift in engagement behavior as a result of the pandemic.
Whether their digital engagement with customer service rose or remained the same in 2020, nearly half of all respondents plan to increase their use of chatbots, virtual agents and self-service overall. Because many contact centers have been slow to support these capabilities, investment in these areas is warranted and will likely spur further use and preference.