A recent report, Optimizing Channels for Customer Support, by customer experience platform UJET, revealed customers want more text-based channels for customer support. As consumers increasingly seek out frictionless, fast processes for their online transactions, they also want interactions with customer service to be streamlined. UJET notes, “Customer support is moving away from siloed, channel-focused experiences to seamless and identical customer experiences.”
The UJET customer support survey included 500 consumers, aged 16-64, with a focus on “customer support expectations, preferences and commonly used channels in three industries: ecommerce, transportation and food delivery.” The report highlighted the changing preferences of consumers related to customer support interactions.
Consumers Want Immediate Interactions With Customer Support
Although the UJET customer support report found texting isn’t as commonly used as other customer support outreach, texting is a contact method consumers want as an option. When respondents were asked what features and applications they thought would be most likely to improve customer support experiences in the future, 72% said texting with live agents in real time, while 70% of respondents said email support and in-app messaging/chats would make for better customer support interactions.
The simplicity of text may be the reason many consumers want it as a customer support option, with only 42% of those surveyed saying they want to chat with customer service agents using live video. And, although 68% said they would take phone calls from customer service agents, respondents wanted to be able to schedule the time of the calls. However, the report showed what people prefer to use is different than the channels they are currently turning to, in most cases, when customer support is needed.
Food Delivery And Ecommerce Still Rely On Phone Call Exchanges For Customer Service Support.
When consumers were asked which methods they use to interact with food delivery brands for customer service support, respondents across every age group said they rely on phone calls. Surprisingly, 70% of Gen Zers said they use the phone to sort out customer service issues with food delivery. Overall, 44% of those surveyed said they use the phone for reaching out to food delivery customer support, with in-app messaging chosen by 36% of respondents.
Similarly, ecommerce shoppers turn to the phone 44% of the time, with 21% choosing live chat online at the ecommerce website.
Customers Prefer Text And In-App Messaging For Transportation Services
The entirely app-based nature of transportation services like Uber and Lyft encourages consumers to reach out almost exclusively through in-app chat or text. The initial channel of contact for 39% of consumers seeking to remedy customer service issues with Lyft or Uber was in-app messaging, with respondents age 18-24 using in-app messaging 70% of the time and respondents 55-64 only 19%.
Brands Should Strive To Offer Identical Experiences Across Channels
As consumers get increasingly tech savvy and expectations for efficient, frictionless experiences grow, brands must do everything possible to create positive customer support interactions across channels. These constructive customer service experiences, which ideally include efficient, real-time sharing between customers and agents, should lead to fast resolutions of any issues. As the UJET report indicates, “This next stage of customer support – the ‘identical support experience’ – is the key to delivering unique and lasting support experiences that will delight customers and cement their brand loyalty. And it requires giving agents the features and options they need to offer a positive support experience, regardless of the channel a customer uses.”
Brands that are interested in offering the most thorough experiences for consumers should be adding text, chat and in-app messaging customer service solutions to their existing customer support systems. Brands that listen to consumers and offer assistance wherever their customers are will gain trust and, likely, repeat business.
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