News Byte: Customers Still Prefer the Human Touch

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Good CX still relies on human contact.
Good CX still relies on human contact.

Companies that delay integrating their call centers into their CRM and customer experience programs are misguided, according to a survey of 3,000 consumers released today by CX Act.

The researcher formerly known as TARP (for Technical Assistance Research Programs, whose acronym was hornswoggled by the Toxic Asset Relief Program), polled customers in over 16 verticals and found that 71% of them preferred to use offline methods to communicate with companies.

Fifty-six percent of those surveyed preferred to make complaints to a live agent over the phone versus only 22% who favored email, and the shakeout was very similar for those simply asking questions. Email was favored by 38% of those with the time and inclination to compliment companies, while only 22% called to say they loved them.

Social media appears to be suitable for framing pretty pictures only. Just 5% of customers used Web chat, social media, or mobile apps to ask a question or file a complaint.

In an age when digital methods get all the press, CX Act CEO Crystal Collier says the study is a caution flare to marketers to engage customers on their own ground. “To win on the CX margin,” she observes, “brands must understand the preferred method of contact from their customer base and seek out opportunities to constantly improve those channels.”


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