NICE inContact announced findings from a global research study that measures real-world consumer experiences, including most recent service interaction, satisfaction, and loyalty across communication channels. This survey reveals that use of digital channels is gaining ground, with email doubling and chat tripling among US consumers. This makes omnichannel service a must in today’s competitive experience economy.
 
Consumers in all regions are most satisfied with online chat with a live agent, compared to ten other channels evaluated. At 56 percent, more than half of US consumers surveyed are highly satisfied with chat interactions. In addition, 47 and 44 percent of UK and Australia consumers, respectively, report being highly satisfied with their most recent chat experience. Consumers also want true omnichannel customer service, and service that’s convenient and quick. If a conversation needs to move from chat to a phone call, nine out of 10 consumers say they expect a seamless transition when moving from one communication method to another. Chat and phone are each viewed as convenient and quick, requiring a minimal amount of effort.
 
The study also found that customers who have exceptional experiences are more willing to recommend that company on social media (83 percent), buy more products and services from that company (89 percent), and go out of their way to purchase from that brand (82 percent). However, one-time exceptional service is not enough to cement loyalty; 81 percent of consumers reported that they are very likely to switch to another company if they’ve had a bad customer service experience.
 
Furthermore, only eight percent of global consumers interviewed had used an AI enabled service channel like chatbots or a home electronic virtual assistant for their most recent customer service interaction. The study found that nine out of 10 consumers prefer to talk to a live agent rather than a chatbot or virtual assistant. In addition, consumer satisfaction with automated assistants is low, with only 27 percent of users giving a nine or 10 rating out of 10. AI has yet to mature, and consumers agree. Seventy-nine percent of respondents said chatbots and virtual assistants need to get smarter before they are willing to use them regularly, and 66 percent disagree that chatbots and virtual assistants make it easier to get issues resolved.
 
“Businesses are no longer just being measured against their direct competitors. They are being measured against every positive customer experience a consumer has ever had,” says Paul Jarman, Chief Executive Officer of NICE inContact. “The global CX Transformation Benchmark Study findings highlight that to deliver exceptional customer experiences that drive growth, businesses must continue their digital transformations to power smart and seamless omnichannel interactions. Despite widespread interest in AI, the research shows that its application is still finding its way in delivering exceptional customer experiences. Investing in an open, native cloud contact center platform can help businesses meet evolving and demanding customer expectations highlighted in the study.”
 
Companies of all sizes now compete in the experience economy to attract new customers and build customer loyalty and advocacy. NICE inContact’s survey shows that companies in all industries can no longer rely on product quality or price alone. They must deliver exceptional customer experience to drive topline and bottom line growth. With fierce competition and dozens of service channels available, the global research emphasizes the need for customer service leaders to continuously monitor and improve customer experience while also expanding service channels and fine-tuning contact center operations to meet consumer demand for speed, convenience, and personalization.
 

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