Phone's Still the Best Route to Customer Satisfaction

Share this content:

Nearly nine out of 10 customers say the phone's the only way to resolve issues. Maybe that's because just half of 50 leading brands in a new study offered an email option.

Most times, it's best to just talk it out.
Most times, it's best to just talk it out.

Even though today's digitally connected consumers say they'd rather not talk face to face with brands, the phone remains the best way to resolve their issues and keep them in the fold. Digital and social channels don't even come close, according to a study of the customers of 50 companies including Apple, Blue Shield, Citigroup, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, and Walmart.

On behalf of CXAct, a customer experience company, Social Lens Research recently asked customers to provide details on levels of service and satisfaction they received regarding billing questions, product issues, and general inquiries. Some 86% said their issues were resolved satisfactorily by talking to an agent over the phone, while only 44% said email worked, and just 27% found an answer via Facebook. The most successful digital means of resolution was Web chat at 70%.

Considering that retaining current customers is cheaper than capturing new ones, these numbers loom large for direct marketers. Ninety-four percent of customers said that a positive contact experience would make them likely to re-purchase, compared to only 6% of those with negative experiences.

The study also revealed that brands are having as tough a time achieving multichannel integration with their CX programs as they are with their marketing campaigns. Top performers in phone service, on average, received low scores for satisfaction on chat (40%), email (22%), and Facebook (17%). Only 20 of the 50 brands tested offered a chat option and, remarkably, only half attempted to answer customer concerns via email.

“Consistency is markedly absent in both variety of offerings and the quality of those channels,” says CXAct CEO Crystal Collier. “It's also clear that exceptional customer service via phone does not translate to digital channels. With more consumers turning to digital for customer service, especially young consumers, brands need to take steps now to offer higher quality service via digital.”

Problems for most brands begin at home—on their website's homepage, to be specific. Only 52% of those surveyed said customer care information was easy to find on company websites, and only 24% found the information useful.

CXAct polled customers of the leading brands in nine verticals in arriving at its results: Airlines, automotive, cable/internet, consumer electronics, consumer packaged goods, financial institutions, insurance, retail, and supermarkets.


Next Article in Customer Experience

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above