Slow to digitise
Speaking of online channels, Kennedy said that satisfaction with online customer service channels, including online text/video chat, mobile applications, third-party review of websites or forums and social media, was relatively solid compared with 'traditional' channels. Almost half of respondents reported that they are satisfied with online video chat (48 percent), as compared to 41 percent who were satisfied with traditional contact centre support.
However, despite the relatively high levels of satisfaction with digital channels, adoption of these technologies by consumers as part of the overall channel mix has remained low due to several barriers. These barriers include the lack of the right information provided by the channels, lack of trust in them, and lack of knowledge of how to access and use them, she said.
Further, while most companies are aware of the value that digital brings, many have been slow to develop an overall strategy that incorporates these channels into their existing customer service offering, Kennedy added.
"Many companies have suffered from two persistent customer service-related headaches that hindered profitable growth over the past 10 years: Chronically high switching rates and decreasing spend by their remaining customers," she said. "Companies that determine the right blend of digital and analog channels to improve the customer experience can reap huge benefits by retaining existing customers while luring more than their fair share of new ones away from competitors."
The Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research is an annual research project that assesses customer attitudes toward marketing, sales and customer service practices and customers' behaviours in response to companies' practices. The 2014 survey includes online responses from 23,665 customers in 34 countries.
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