Customer Experience Featured Article

Customer Experience Survey Reveals Speed as Top Priority

October 21, 2014

When you imagine a typical call center interaction, what do you think is the most important component for ensuring a positive customer experience? The methods in which we communicate today are expanding at a rapid rate—with everything from social media and smartphones to VoIP and messaging apps making it easier for users to keep in touch. The instant gratification that technology offers users has empowered them, and in turn they have come to expect a similar level of immediacy in their interactions with businesses. But with this increased ease of communication and higher expectations from consumers, businesses are stuck having to upgrade their customer services to accommodate customer demands for multi-channel efficiency.

And it turns out that the need for communication efficiency doesn’t just end with access to multiple channels (live chat, voice call, email, text, and so on). According to a recent global survey administered by independent research firm Actionable Research and commissioned by Interactive Intelligence (News - Alert), the most important part of a customer service interaction to customers is a timely response.

The study surveyed a group of global consumers, as well as a group of IT professionals and customer care leaders, to learn more about their customer service and technology expectations and preferences. Overall, the study focused on answering two main questions: “What do customers want in a great service experience?” and “What do customers and companies want from the technology behind that great customer experience?”

By enhancing customer experience through better technology, businesses are much more likely to encourage customer loyalty. As per the findings of the study, high quality customer experience also directly improves sales; nearly half of consumers' surveyed (45 percent) said they "always" or "usually" make their product or service purchasing decisions based solely on the organization's customer service reputation. So attention businesses: it’s time to step up your customer support.

While service quality is very important to customers, the study shows that speed of service still trumps everything else, as noted above. Perhaps this isn’t surprising, given the fast-paced nature of communication today in the digital age. Interestingly, customers’ preferences have shifted even from a year ago, when a similar 2013 study found that consumers rated a “knowledgeable agent” as the most important customer service element.

"Whatever customer service path businesses take, the focus for the future has to mirror the behavior and opinion of its target consumers,” explained Dave Paulding, regional sales director for the U.K. and Middle East at Interactive Intelligence.

Overall, the findings of the survey indicate that in order to succeed today, businesses must be willing to continually evolve their customer services in order to stay ahead of the tech curve and meet the rapid-fire demands of the modern customer. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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