New research from marketing consultancy firm Accenture suggests the estimated cost of customers switching due to poor service in Australia is $122 billion.
Attempts by companies to shuffle their customers into new digital channels are also coming unglued with 81 per cent of Australian consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues, according to new research from Accenture.
Retailers, banks and internet service providers are the worst offenders in a market where retailers, banks and internet service providers being the worst offenders.
According to Luca Martini, managing director for Accenture Strategy in Australia and New Zealand, “Companies have lost sight of the importance of human interaction and often make it too difficult for consumers to get the right level of help and service that they need. The beauty of the possibilities offered by today’s technology is that the human touch can be blended into the digital experience (and vice versa) allowing companies to deliver amazing customer service across all channels, whilst removing the usual pain points.”
Accenture’s consultants argue there are four ways companies should look to rebalance service channels;
- Put the human and physical elements back into customer services: Rethink your investment strategy. The focus should be on delivering satisfying customer experiences – not methods of interaction. Ensure your channel management approach delivers integrated experiences.
- Make it easy for customers to switch channels to get the experiences they want: Build customer service channels that enable consumers to fluidly move from digital to human interaction to get the outcomes they desire.
- Root out toxicity: Define and address the most toxic customer experiences across all channels. These experiences can directly impact profitability. Identify the experiences that have the greatest potential downside and leverage those insights to guide an investment strategy.
- Guarantee personal data security: Some 88 per cent of consumers say it is extremely important that companies protect the privacy of their personal information. By not selling or sharing customer data with other companies, and guaranteeing that safeguards are in place to protect it, consumers will be more willing to hand over personal information which can be leveraged to deliver better experiences.
The study reveals that human interaction remains a vital component of customer satisfaction, even in the ‘digital age’. “The majority (81 per cent) of Australian consumers prefer dealing with human beings over digital channels to solve customer services issues and get advice. Nearly half (48 per cent) of consumers say they are even willing to pay a higher price for goods and services if it ensures a better level of service.”
The authors also note that t physical or in-store experiences are also rates amongst consumers. “Specifically, 64 per cent agree that in-store service is the best channel for getting a tailored experience, and over half (52 per cent) say they are more willing to be sold new or upgraded products when receiving a face-to-face service compared to online. Nearly half (45 per cent) say they would rather go to a store first than use digital channels to get advice on the best products and services.”
This article originally appeared on B&T’s sister business site www.which-50.com