Human-Based Customer Service Can Help Banks and Other Firms
Let’s hear it for the people: 83 percent of U.S. consumers prefer to deal with human beings, not digital systems, when it comes to customer service, according to a new report from Accenture. That matters because 52 percent of those consumers report leaving a company within the past year due to poor customers service—banks, retailers and cable and satellite TV firms stand as the least popular customer service providers with consumers.
Accenture based its report, “Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement,” on surveys that included 2,003 U.S. consumers. “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,” said Robert Wollan, Accenture’s senior managing director, advanced customer strategy. “Companies wrongly assume that their digital-only customers are their most profitable, and that customer service is a cost. Consequently, they over-invest in digital technologies and channels and lose their most profitable customers—multichannel customers—who want experiences that cover both digital and traditional channels.”
Companies could bring in more revenue by offering human-based customer service, the report suggests: 45 percent of survey respondents would pay extra to gain a “higher level of service,” Accenture said.
And even though mobile continues to command more attention from shoppers, stores and physical salesmanship shouldn’t be written off yet. That’s because 65 percent of respondents said that “in-store service is the best channel for getting a tailored experience,” and 46 percent said “they are more willing to be sold new or upgraded products when receiving a face-to-face service compared to online.”
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