Two recent surveys show that when customers reach out to a “real person” at a company, they have high expectations of service and want to speak to someone with true expertise in the company’s offerings.

In one study, NICE Systems, a provider of software for analyzing customer experiences, surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults to learn what frustrates them about customer service support.

On the plus side, most respondents–95 percent–believed there are a sufficient number of channels to reach customer support. However, frustration sets in if the agent is unable to provide quick resolution to the customer’s problem. For example:

  • 30% of consumers attribute customer services woes to agents who are not prepared or lack skills
  • 16% become frustrated when the customer service provider does not know their history or preferences
  • 26% become frustrated when it takes too much time and effort to resolve issues

“Dissatisfaction arises when organizations cannot deliver a consistent, effortless and personalized journey across all channels and touch pints,” said Miki Migdal, President of the NICE Enterprise Product Group.

Another survey focuses on self-service and other channels of customer support. inContact, a provider of cloud-based contact center software, revealed in a study that four in five (81 percent) of U.S. adults said that if they are dissatisfied with an order, they would prefer help from a live representative rather than resolving the problem through email or online self-service.

To reach out to companies, customers expect that a variety of channels will be available, supporting the trend toward “omnichannel” service covering every step of the “customer journey.”

The top agent-supported channels of importance to consumers are:

  • Email (93%)
  • 1-800 number to live representatives (81%)
  • Online chat (67%)
  • Apps for mobile devices (50%)
  • SMS/Text messaging (46%)
  • Social networking sites (39%)
  • Online video chat (32%)

Additionally, 87 percent of consumers say online self-service for order tracking is important, as is a 1-800 number for self-service (53 percent).

And not only do consumers expect multiple channels for support, they expect them to connect with each other, so that no matter how a live agent is reached, the agent will know what the issue is and be prepared to help.

The study found:

  • 65% of U.S. adults expect companies to know their purchase history regardless of the communication channel.
  • Two-thirds (67%) expect to be able to reach the same agent they worked with previously on an order or service issue.
  • 64% expect to be able to continue talking with the same company rep on the phone that they were talking with via online chat.

The post Consumers Demand Customer Service Expertise Across Multiple Channels appeared first on Outsourcing Insights.