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In the Omnichannel Age, Customer Service Across Touchpoints Appears to be Getting Worse, Says New Survey of 10,000 Consumers

Troubled businesswomanAccording to this year’s Global Consumer Pulse Research from Accenture, two thirds of consumers dropped their allegiance to a company and took their business elsewhere due to poor service in 2014. These defections created a “switching economy” worth $6.2 trillion dollars across 17 key markets, a 26% increase over 2010. In the same survey, only 11% of consumers strongly agreed that companies are effectively converging digital, mobile, social and traditional channels—i.e.,omnichannel customer service.

To assess the current state of this vital imperative, which had hit a low point last year, customer engagement solutions firm eGain recently released a new study in partnership with Forrester Consulting, entitled the State of Omnichannel Customer Service, based on the findings of a new survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers that aimed to assess consumer perceptions of today’s omnichannel customer service, compared to a year ago.

Key findings

Overall, a majority of consumers chimed in with ratings of “about the same” or “worse” in all the modes of customer service; the percentage for each mode is listed below:

  • Omnichannel service
    • Multiple channels in the same service interaction: 65%
    • Multiple people (service personnel) in the same service interaction: 70%
  • Call center customer service: 68%
  • IVR self-service: 67%
  • Web self-service: 63%
  • Agent-assisted web customer service: 61%

“Today’s consumers use many communication channels and touchpoints to request customer service. In addition, channel and touchpoint preferences change rapidly as new devices and modes of communication gain favor,” said Ian Jacobs of Forrester Research, in a news release. “Customers also expect contact center agents to be aware of any prior interactions they have had with a customer service organization. Make sure to build a well-integrated multichannel architecture, backed by a solid foundation of knowledge management, to support these consumer demands.”

“Disconnected point solutions and lack of knowledge, as evident from our previous consumer survey, disrupt customer journeys across touchpoints,” said Ashu Roy, eGain CEO, in the release. “An omnichannel customer engagement hub, powered by a smart knowledge engine, can help deliver easy, on-target service journeys both for the customer and the agent.”

10,000 US consumers were asked online if omnichannel customer service got better, stayed about the same or got worse, compared to a year ago. Specifically, they were asked to rate their experience in the following modes of service interaction: Omnichannel customer service (multiple channels during the same interaction and multiple people (service personnel) in the same interaction), call center customer service, IVR self-service, web self-service, and agent-assisted web customer service. Get more methodology info here.

Source: MarketWired; edited by Richard Carufel

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