Automated or Human, Provide Smart, Speedy Service

After a year of brick-and-mortar stores due to the pandemic, consumers have had time to discover what they love about Automated and non-digital stores. But as suppliers hope that customers will visit their products online, they should feel better about shoppers’ new attitude to hands-on customer service practices.

The customer service platform released its fifth annual customer expectations report in March, revealing what today’s consumers want from brands, especially when shopping online. This report details how e-commerce/retail consumer expectations have changed in the past year due to a global pandemic and a boom in online shopping.

It also outlines where brands are successful and fails to generate revenue and customer loyalty. According to data from 1,507 international respondents, 83% of customers will spend more on brands that offer excellent online customer service. Nearly a third of customers (28%) feel their customer service expectations are not being met.

Prompt and knowledgeable sales reps generate revenue

The report found that three essential elements are essential to today’s new buying guidelines. In many cases, these three things are missing from consumers’ online shopping experiences.

First, the customer service representative must be an expert with knowledge of the product in question, noted 78% of respondents. According to 34% of shoppers surveyed, the rep should recommend other products that they know the customer will like. Finally, the service representative should spend more time researching other options, 21 percent of shoppers answered.

Nearly half (46%) of those surveyed expect customer representatives to respond within one minute of starting the live chat. In addition, a whopping 62% of shoppers want to complete their purchases during a live chat with a customer service representative, rather than having to navigate through the shopping cart.

The report also suggested that customers’ initial passion for chatbots is on the wane. Online shoppers now prefer human agents over digital assistants.

Growth of mixed feelings vs. chatbot

This year, email canceled chat as the second preferred communication channel. Chatbots, until now an important part of online customer service, are falling out of favor. Consumers feel mundane about Automated and find it useful and frustrating depending on the situation.

Just over half (53%) of customers find chatbots most useful when they don’t want to talk or wait with a real person. A slightly lower percentage was that just over half of respondents (51%) preferred the help of chatbots by answering a simple question as quickly as possible.

Customer service channels, change of roles

Phone and email, traditionally the most common form of customer service contact, are becoming less and less used by consumers as Automated channels become more popular. The telephone as a customer service channel was down 11% year-over-year (48% versus 37%).

Email also fell from 17% at the beginning of 2020 to 15% at the end of the year. Calls and texting on live sites saw the biggest increases, at 5% and 3% respectively.

Brands should take note of this ultimate online shopping message. The report confirms that the service experience is critical to customer loyalty, says Ansanelli; refers to the 45% who will never buy a brand after two bad customer service experiences.

When Covid did all online commerce, brands had to figure out how to replicate or approach the physical shopping experience across digital channels. They also had to learn how to engage and shop with consumers without the rich experience they can create in brick and mortar stores.

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