State of Customer Experience 2023 Research Report
Part 1: Customer Issue Resolution
When it comes to issue resolution, customers today still overwhelmingly value the human touch. As companies continue to encourage customers to reach them through digital channels, live agent chat is emerging as a happy medium between calling a company and engaging in self-service options. It is increasingly viewed as an opportunity to get human assistance and quick issue resolution without waiting in a long phone queue. Ultimately, our research has found that the speed of issue resolution is more important to customers than the speed of response. Live agent chat can be faster and more cost-efficient than phone calls, but only if it is implemented correctly and tracked consistently which doesn’t always happen. It is worth the investment to ensure that live agent chat channels are implemented and tracked according to best practices so that customer issues can be resolved quickly, minimizing the need for repeat contacts.
Highlights from the new report include:
- Most customers still prefer to contact companies by phone, but an increasing number now view live agent chat as a reliable alternative.
- 32% of those aged 18-35 prefer live agent chat over the phone. This generational shift indicates that live agent chat will likely continue to gain dominance over the next few years.
- Customer expectations for online self-service options and 24/7 customer service availability are rising while tolerance for slow and/or inefficient customer service brought on by the hardships that companies have experienced is decreasing.
- 71% of business leaders report that their Voice of Customer (VoC) and/or quality data indicate that Customer Experience at their companies is better than it was 1-2 years ago. Yet only 67% of customers say companies make it easy or very easy to get customer service issues handled efficiently.
Part ll: Business Investments vs. Customer Preferences:
- The pandemic changed the structure of office staffing models for the foreseeable future. Today, many customer service associates, like workers in other fields, are likely to be working from home. Our research suggests that 47% of respondents had knowingly spoken to a customer service associate who was at home and 72% of those respondents felt the associate’s location did not impact the resolution of their issue. Similarly, Northridge’s Quality Monitoring specialists have observed that some customers respond positively to associates working from home and may even engage in personal conversation around it, as long as the associate can resolve their issue.
- Customers and business leaders agree that training for customer service representatives must be a high priority. Although many business leaders think they are already doing a good job of offering appropriate training, most recognize the importance of prioritizing additional training over other customer service investments.
To access Part 1 of the State of Customer Experience 2023 report, please fill out the form below.