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Survey Says: Traditional Customer Care is Dying

We get on the phone, we wait for a robotic voice to tell us which buttons to push, and then we hear it.

“Your call is important to us. . . Please stay on the line. . .”

And we wait.

This is traditional customer care — and if we’re all honest about it, no one likes it. Things should be easier: Customers should feel like brands are listening to them. Customers should have their questions answered and their problems solved, right away.

At Conduent Continuum 2017, I presented topline results from Conduent’s landmark survey on customers and how they interact with brands when they’re looking for answers. It looked at the pain points and the successes, and where customers are when they’re trying to find us.

A lot of customers were interviewed for the survey:
• 2,400 individuals in the U.S.
• 1,200 each in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.
• The representative gender split was 51% female and 49% male.
• All age groups were included, from Generation Z to Baby Boomers and those 71 and up.

Some of the most important insights from our survey report are below –– shining a light on what these customers are telling us: the status quo isn’t good enough.

Your customers want you to know them.
We conducted our survey with care, making sure that respondents were from all ages and income sectors. Right away, we discovered that each group interacts with brands differently — some prefer to meet you online, others prefer to call. Still more would rather speak with you in person. But each of these groups had many things in common:

• 80% of the respondents said they were left frustrated because they couldn’t get their problem solved on the first try — that’s in-person, on-line, or on the phone.
• If they can’t get resolution on that first try, they’re forced to look for alternative channels.
• 68% of the respondents expect brands to have their information on file. They’ve called before. Where are the records? Where is the personalization? Why do they have to repeat themselves?

Your customers want resolution — fast.
Your customers don’t have all day to wait for you to solve their problem. They’re looking to you for a resolution— and they want it as soon as possible.

• 32% want a resolution in less than 10 minutes. (That’s a third of all respondents.)
• 25% between 31-60 minutes,
• 32% in excess of 1 hour.

The survey was conclusive: We need to move past the usual inefficiencies and needless silos. Instead of causing frustration and delay, we should focus on providing the best possible experience for each customer — on the channels they want to use.

Don’t forget to listen.
Remember: You’ve already made the sale, but don’t lose a repeat customer because you’re not listening to them or because you’re keeping them on hold. The value of listening is supported by our latest survey data, across both digital and traditional realms. Customers want you to listen to them — but in new and different ways.

Conduent is a leader in helping brands transition from customer care to customer experience. We’re proud to be at the forefront of this change, recognizing that despite everything, it still comes down to listening. It’s at the core of our business relationships, and it helps us build and deliver solutions that create unique value for our clients and improve the lives of customers around the world.

About the Author

Group Chief Executive, Consumer and Industrials, Conduent