The Results Are in: Efficiency Tops Personalization

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A new Google survey points to how most consumers value efficiency over personalization when contacting companies for support.
Customer Service

"Surprise and delight" served as the focus of many companies in recent years, as customers have come to demand personalized service. They may want to rethink their service strategies, as a new survey turns the tables on that mantra.

The Google survey, sponsored by IntelliResponse, which polled 1,000 consumers about their views on customer service, points to how 59 percent of consumers value efficiency over personalized service.

When the participants were asked about the types of relationships they want from the companies they buy from, 59 percent of respondents said they would like a transactional relationship where they receive efficient service and only 24 percent characterized their relationship as a friendship, where they receive personalized service.

Consumers' desire for efficient service points to the importance of having digital channels that enable self-service and access to customer service from a variety of mobile devices. In fact, the study revealed that 74 percent of consumers believe they should be able to get the same answers from a company's website that they can get from speaking to a contact center employee. Additionally, 68 percent of participants said acompany's website is the first place most consumersgo when looking for information regarding a product or service, and the majority of Millennial consumers said they'd rather use a mobile app for sending service-related questions.

Key Takeaway: Consumers want the ability to find the answers to their customer service questions, at the time and place of their choosing. Because consumers' preferences to use digital channels for service inquires continues to grow, companies must advance their digital service strategies through a digital-first mindset. Achieving this goal depends on closing the gap between the traditional and digital service channels and enabling cultural change. While it's important to provide personalized engagement strategies, it's equally important to provide efficient service and resolve customers' issues upon first contact.

Digital channels stand to change the rules of customer engagement. For organizations to meet these new demandsthey must facilitatecontinuous evolution to enterprisewide digital adoption.

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EXPERT OPINION