A new study commissioned by Nice about consumer channel preference complements Forrester’s data quite effectively and adds more data to the understanding that customer service does not need to be exceptional but just needs to be frictionless, easily and efficiently delivering answers to customer questions.

Here is some recent Forrester data from our latest Consumer Technographics® survey about US customer service trends:

  • 45% of US online adults will abandon their online purchase if they can't find a quick answer to their question.
  • 66% say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide a customer with a good online customer service.
  • 29% prefer to use online customer service rather than speak with a live person on the telephone.

Data from the Nice survey says that:

  • 50% of respondents say that if they cannot easily achieve resolution, they will turn to the contact center.
    • Which supports the point that service needs to be frictionless and effortless.
  • 40% of respondents expect agents to be informed of their experiences upon beginning the conversation and to be able to successfully resolve their issues quickly.
    • Which supports the point that companies need to value a customer’s time.

In addition, the Nice survey conveyed:

  • When asked what customers like about assisted service, 50% of respondents cited FCR as their #1 reason for consulting a live agent. 33% of respondents they derive satisfaction from dealing with knowledgeable reps with specialized training.

So what do you need to do to enable frictionless service? You need to focus on three foundational elements:

  • Standardize the service experience across communication channels. Customers expect agents supporting voice, text-based channels such as chat, email, and SMS, and social channels to follow the same business processes.
  • Empower agents with full customer histories. Customers expect agents to deliver personalized value-added service – and that means having a full interaction history of all prior interactions on all supported communication channels.
  • Invest in knowledge management. Agents need easy access to relevant content that answers customer questions. In addition, companies need to invest in the processes and organizational structure to maintain knowledge in line with customer demand.

So, the question is… what are you doing right?