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No matter what sector we occupy in the technology industry we all have customers, and customer experience is a massive competitive differentiator in this era of information, accessibility and swiftly changing consumer preferences. It was under this pretext that inContact undertook a recent benchmark study on customer experience, and in this blog entry we’re going to share some of that research in hopes that you can utilize it in your everyday business.

As some quick background for this study, inContact and their research partner MaritzCX interviewed consumers who shared their experiences and interactions with companies across 15 different industries- more than 4,700 experiences in all. These interactions spanned a variety of formats—including inbound/outbound calls, email, chat, social, online self-service and more.

Read the complete customer experience study.

In summary, consumers are not getting the “fast resolution” they demand. There is a critical need for companies to improve their cross-channel customer experience. Less than half of all customers interviewed reported being satisfied with their experience, regardless of channel. This represents a massive opportunity to make things right and win some loyalty.

A major takeaway from our findings is that as businesses explore and adopt automation technologies to improve contact center operations, they need to consider strategies and solutions where technology can augment human interactions –not replace them.

Ensure your customers experience a more dynamic means of service. Explore solutions for your contact center.

So about those findings… here are a few key takeaways:

Does your customer want it resolved fast? They’ll still pick up the phone.

Quick resolution during an interaction is the predominant goal of customers. That’s not a surprise. But what is perhaps surprising is they feel they achieve this by speaking to a live rep far more often than –but often in conjunction with –other methods. Despite our omnichannel world, the phone is still currently the most effective method to a resolution- with over 8 in 10 saying their issue was handled on the first call.

What about self-service? We continually hear that self-serve is the way to go.

You may want to pump the proverbial brakes on that interactive voice response (IVR) for critical customer issues.

In general, the IVR suffers some due to a lack of personalization and the inability to get stuck out of that dreaded  “phone loop”.  Overall, self-service channels are rated lower for personalized service but valued for security.

Mobile apps and websites are rated higher for self-service—more than 60% felt apps and websites were the most convenient way to resolve issues in the quickest possible way.

Ready to introduce new technology for a better customer experience? Schedule a consultation with an expert to determine the best tools for your business.

What about email?

Email and IVR have the lowest mean scores. Email’s low mean score is driven by 1 in 7 users rating the channel as a ‘1’ –two to three times higher than any other channel. Meaning, when the customer feels wronged in an email interaction, the perception is it really went wrong. Email is frequently rated lower than other channels, and is viewed as less personalized and not providing the most complete information for resolution.

To get the full data from this study, click here for a complimentary download. And remember that if you’re looking to improve customer relations in the Contact Center there are many options to connect. Did you know today’s contact centers support an average of 9 channels?* Consumers have come to expect the ability to communicate with companies any time, anywhere and with any device. Your Carousel account manager can help provide you with options that fit your strategy and budget.

Get your copy of the full study.