Customer service isn’t what it used to be. As the world approaches the year 2020, the demands on organizations to provide excellent customer experiences are higher than ever before. Your buyers and prospects—be they consumers, clients, patients, or otherwise—expect fast, responsive, personalized, high-quality service.
In a few respects, however, the keys to extraordinary customer experiences have remained the same. First impressions still matter. Phone calls are still the number one customer service channel. People still prefer to speak to live, friendly, and professional human beings.
In other words, if you think the answer to meeting evolving expectations is technology and technology alone, think again. Consider what the following statistics reveal about customer service experiences in 2020.
- Nearly two-thirds (65%) of potential customers want to reach brands by phone.
- Phone calls are on track to influence more than $1 trillion in consumer spending in 2019.
- Total annual calls from mobile click-to-call alone are projected to reach approximately 169 billion in 2020.
- 29% of calls lead to a purchase.
- 75% of consumers now expect businesses to offer support within five minutes of an inquiry.
- 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as valuable as the company’s products and services.
- For 66% of customers, instant, on-demand engagement in a critical decision-making factor in purchasing goods and services.
- 75% of organizations believe they’re customer-centric, but only 30% of consumers agree.
- 80% of companies believe they provide excellent customer service—only 8% of customers agree.
- 67% of customers admit that their expectations for good experiences across all of their engagement points with businesses are higher than ever.
- That same pool of customers say they’re willing to pay more for that experience (67%) and that they’re more likely to be loyal to companies that win their trust (95%).
- 71% of American consumers say the messages they receive from businesses never, rarely, or only sometimes feel personal.
- While 2 out of every 3 customers who receive support resolutions will share their positive experiences, 95% who don’t receive the same quality of support will also let others know.
- The average dissatisfied customer will share their experiences with 9 to 15 other people, and some will share with 20 or more.
- 74% of consumers say they are “very likely” to choose another business after having a poor phone experience.
- 77% of customers say they won’t make a purchase if a brand doesn’t offer live chat support.
- 73% of consumers report satisfaction with their live chat experiences—the highest level of all customer service channels…
- …but just 14% of companies use this technology, and even fewer use it powered by real humans.
- 42% of consumers prefer live chat over other communication channels.
- 79% of consumers say the number one reason they prefer live chat is that their questions get answered immediately.
- Live chat prospects are 4.6 times more likely than other prospects to convert into customers…
- …and will spend 60% more with the company once they do.
- When consumers have negative experiences with a chatbot, 73% will never speak to the chatbot again.
- A majority of consumers (61%) find negative chatbot experiences more frustrating than human-to-human customer service interactions.
- Increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% can boost business profits by as much as 25% to 95%.