Study: Customer Service Differentiation Struggles to Get Out of the Gate

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Customer Service
Most business leaders would be thrilled to have their companies be able to deliver a differentiated customer experience. But many organizations are often hamstrung by a lack of insights about individual customers and process gaps that are needed to provide personalized, smooth, and tailored experiences. This can manifest itself in customer service interactions when a poor customer experience can result in desertion. Brands that consistently deliver strong customer service continually monitor and refine their processes. But in too many cases, company leaders have an inflated view of their brand's customer service capabilities, as evidenced by the findings in a recent Pegasystems study.

Most business leaders would be thrilled to have their companies be able to deliver a differentiated customer experience. But many organizations are often hamstrung by a lack of insights about individual customers and process gaps that are needed to provide personalized, smooth, and tailored experiences. This can manifest itself in customer service interactions when a poor customer experience can result in desertion. Brands that consistently deliver strong customer service continually monitor and refine their processes. But in too many cases, company leaders have an inflated view of their brand's customer service capabilities, as evidenced by the findings in a recent Pegasystems study.According to a Pegasystems survey of more than 1,000 consumers and business leaders:

-66 percent of responding telecom and banking companies claim they know their customers, yet only 24 percent of telecom customers and 41 percent of banking customers agree. Meanwhile, another 20 percent of telecom customers and 6 percent of banking customers respectively believe these businesses don't know their preferences at all.

-Although nearly 60 percent of businesses believe their customer service reps respond quickly to their customers every time, the majority of consumers disagree. In fact, just 27 percent of telecom customers concurred.

-One of the top three customer service problems cited by consumers are companies that fail to listen to their needs. Yet retail banks rank this capability as their top customer service attribute.

Part of the disparity is an inability among companies to keep pace with customers' digital support preferences and to provide customers with seamless support across all of the touchpoints they use. According to the Pegasystems study, just 20 percent of businesses surveyed are working on developing omnichannel integration capabilities.

Why is there such a wide gulf between customer and executive perceptions? Certainly part of it can be explained by the differences in how business leaders and customers define what constitutes satisfactory customer service. Business leaders are typically focused on broad metrics - they see that the contact center is meeting or even exceeding its efficiency benchmarks, so they assume that customers are generally satisfied with support, so long as customer satisfaction scores aren't tanking. But the customer is primarily concerned with whether his or her issue was resolved easily and effectively.

Customer-centric companies take the time and interest to understand what's most important to their customers and then they take the steps needed to deliver on those expectations.

EXPERT OPINION
EXPERT OPINION