Not long ago, grocery shopping happened solely in-store, and banking was done with the help of a human teller. But the internet, social media and mobile devices have dynamically changed this relationship, and consumers have come to expect much more from their brand communication. It’s crucial to know what customers want from customer service.
Brands can no longer just be transactional entities. To truly make an impact, a company must be a constant presence in its customers daily lives. In fact, 89 percent of customers have switched brand loyalties due to poor customer experience (CX). Every interaction could be the difference between earning a loyal customer or losing out on a lifetime of purchases.
That puts a lot of stress on your brand communication, but by understanding how customers want to be contacted, you can set your business apart from the crowd.
Survey Says … Brand Communication is Still a Win
West surveyed more than 500 U.S. consumers to understand what customers want from customer service and how they define high-quality CX. We discovered how communication preferences shift across self-service and proactive interactions, and we identified which industries are leading and lagging behind.
With that, here are 29 key stats from the survey that show how you can make the most of your brand communication.
When a business contacts a customer:
1. 76% of customers prioritize speed to resolution.
2. 61% prefer convenience.
When a customer contacts a business:
3. 77% rated speed to resolution as the best indicator of good service.
4. 55% opt for convenience.
In the last six months:
5. 77% of consumers have opted out of brand communication.
6. 45% of customers who opted out said brand communication was too frequent.
7. 30% said the message was irrelevant.
8. 25% of opt outs were due to other factors, including redundancy, too much information and lacking a human touch.
Type of Interaction
9. 65% of customers prefer phone calls.
10. 55% favor email.
11. 48% go for online chat.
Email is first-choice by:
12. 82% of customers for notifications.
13. 77% for questions and issues.
14. 49% prefer getting a text.
15. 25% prefer talking to a contact center agent.
When answering questions:
16. 45% want to be asked by a live agent.
17. 37% would rather use a text.
When managing appointments:
18. 53% of customers contact brands by email.
19. 50% by phone.
20. 34% by website.
When making purchases:
21. 77% use the website.
22. 36% use a mobile app.
23. 30% pay in person.
After a data breach:
24. 64% will contact by email.
25. 51% by phone.
26. 29% by website.
For new products or troubleshooting:
27. 51% go to the website.
28. 44% use a web tutorial.
29. 38% call a representative.
What Customers Want from Customer Service
This list covers about half of the stats we gathered from the survey. For even more actionable information, including data based on gender, age and industry, download our 53 Brand Communication Stats infographic. That handy guide may have an answer any time you wonder what customers want from customer service in any given instance.
You can also read more about the survey and the stats we gathered in our in-depth whitepaper, CX Marks the Spot: What Consumers Expect from Brand Communication. But before that, here are a few major highlights to understand about the 29 brand communication stats above.
A Few Key Takeaways
Having this kind of demographic data is great, but it can still be a challenge to put it into practice. So how do you use all these stats to improve your brand communication?
- Know your customer. Not every customer is the same. Millennials have different preferences than baby boomers. Men may communicate differently than women. Find which people most frequently use your brand and provide the most value, and tailor your brand communication to meet their needs.
- Define excellent service. Service is the most important ingredient of delightful CX. More than three-quarters of consumers rank speed to resolution as the most likely indicator of such service, but pay attention to other factors as well.
- Consider all channels. Most consumers say they prefer dealing with a person over the phone when they reach out to a brand. But other channels, like email and texting, rise to the top when brands reach out to them.
- Don’t count on social media. Despite the constant presence of social media in consumers’ lives, many don’t view social platforms as helpful customer service channels. Communicate on the channels your customers want, but be prepared to adapt as preferences change.
Lasting Impressions Made Every Day
If you’re looking for more specific ways to optimize your current brand communication, read our blog post about 10 Proven Champion-Challenger Optimizations to Improve CX. And we invite you to get even more information from one of our CX consultants by calling or texting West Interactive Services at 800.841.9000.
When building your CX ecosystem, one size doesn’t fit all. In the realm of customer experience, brand communication is everything. And that communication has to reach your most valuable customers wherever they are. So use these stats to put your best foot forward and make sure you’re creating the impact consumers expect to see every day.