Combatting customer service frustrations with connected conversations

Customer service has a much greater impact on buying decisions than ever before. But many companies are failing to make the grade with consumers. New research from Nuance reveals top customer service complaints.
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Customer service has a much greater impact on consumer buying decisions than ever before. In the era of instant information, consumers have easy access to greater choice about where to do business. And, influenced by innovation across the breadth of their business relationships, they have higher expectations for the convenience, consistency, ease and speed of the service they receive.

Quite simply, they don’t want to explain themselves and they expect to accomplish their objective quickly on whichever channel is most convenient at the time. Consumers today want a consistent customer experience on their terms and through the channels they prefer.

Quality service today hinges on making it easy for customers to have their needs solved quickly. But, according to new customer service research commissioned by Nuance, consumers reported that on average, one out of every four customer experiences is negative. The top complaint? Consumers are frustrated with their time not being valued. When asked what they’ve experienced in the past 12 months, the top three complaints were being put on hold (49 percent); giving the same information or repeating themselves multiple times (38 percent); and, getting transferred multiple times (37 percent).

As a result, 82 percent say they only contact customer service when they can’t find an answer online. This is telling because it means that the simplest issues to solve have moved online, leaving the more complex issues for the call center. Unfortunately, all signs point to the IVR (interactive voice response) as the top culprit causing customer service frustration.

This explains why leading companies have invested in their IVR experience and are creating context for customer conversations by integrating their outbound outreach and inbound response. For instance, Delta Airlines is connecting conversations by leveraging awareness of recent outbound communication to inform IVR behavior. By transforming the standard IVR greeting of “How can I help you?” into “Are you calling about your upcoming flight?” Delta Airlines is able to help customers get the information they need in a fraction of the time. The airline is also closing the loop by follow up with an outbound text, email or voice message confirmation so that the consumer isn’t left wondering about confirmation.

This is just one example of how businesses can create connected conversations that drive better ROI and create a stellar customer experience. To meet growing expectations for quality service, businesses need to connect the conversation and create a consistent, intuitive experience across the self-service continuum, including the web, mobile app and IVR. Download the full report below for even more insights.

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Learn what customers want, and don't want, in a customer experience

See the surprising results of the new research in the report, “Top Customer Service Frustrations: What Customers Want – and Don’t Want – in a Customer Experience.”

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Greg Pal

About Greg Pal

Gregory Pal is Vice President of Marketing, Strategy & Business Development of the Nuance Enterprise Division, responsible for customer self-service solutions that are used by leading organizations around the world to automate and optimize customer care experiences – from the contact center to the Web and mobile devices. Prior to joining Nuance, Greg held various marketing, strategy, and business development roles in a variety of industries, including network-based IVR services at Tellme Networks, renewable fuels and chemicals at LS9, and customer engagement solutions at Opower. Greg earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. Greg enjoys doing obstacle course races and will run a marathon one of these days (although likely not very fast).