March 21, 2013
Report Reveals Customers Still Hate Customer Service
A new survey released by Aspect (News - Alert) Software, a company that provides call center software and equipment for handling customer service requests, optimizing workforces, and customer self-service functionality, says that four in 10 Americans would rather go to the DMV than contact customer service. That's right, the Kafkaesque headquarters of customer neglect – if not downright customer disdain – is the preferred choice for 42 percent of consumers. America must really hate customer service. Like, really hate it.
Findings suggest that the reason users are so against contacting a company’s customer service department is because it usually sucks. It's a time sink and an overall pain. 64 percent of consumers say that when interacting with customer service, they don't feel like a valued client. Further, 67 percent of customers are still being directed to an automated service – a well-known gripe – and 65 percent claim they have to repeat themselves in order to be understood, which is a frustrating task in any situation.
There are steps companies can take to vamp up their customer service offerings, but it will take a major shift in functionality to fully address consumer needs. Businesses must really begin to understand and implement social media channels and other online perks. 77 percent of those consulted in the survey find that companies that employ multiple channels including social networks, online chat, and e-mail functions in addition to the traditional phone offering, are easier to do business with. 67 percent voiced that they feel more in control of their relationship with a company when it offers multiple channels for customer service.
Jim Freeze, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Aspect, points out that businesses have been slow to acclimate to major Internet entities like social media and chat. Freeze adds that even companies who have embraced various channels have not necessarily patched together channels to create a seamless customer service experience. Phone (News - Alert), e-mail, online chat, and social media channels need to coalesce in order for customers to be satisfied.
Until this happens, you can find us all in line at the DMV, where at least we can commiserate with one another.