Businesses lack omni-channel service


online 25Australian brands are failing to match their omni-channel efforts in sales with their customer service experiences, according to a new global study.

The survey conducted by Zendesk, found that 79 per cent of consumers agree that brands pay more attention to increasing sales through their different channels, rather than having a seamless customer service offering.

More than half of Australians surveyed expect to be able to return goods via a different channel to the one used to purchase, with a further 43 per cent expecting to be able to contact the same representative regardless of the method they originally used, compared to the global average of 37 per cent.

“The customer journey doesn’t end at checkout,” said Michael Hansen, VP and Asia Pacific MD at Zendesk.

“Australian brands are failing to match their omni-channel efforts in sales with their customer service experiences. To meet the demands of today’s consumers, they need to create seamless customer service across every channel,” Hansen said.

The research report, “The Omni-channel Customer Service Gap,” was produced by Loudhouse, an independent research agency based in London, on behalf of Zendesk. The research report was based on surveys of 7000 online shoppers between the ages of 18 to 64 in Australia, the U.S., Brazil, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K.Around 1000 shoppers were surveyed in each country.

While the phone is still the preferred method of contact for a customer service issue, an increasing number of Australians are also choosing to email brands. Australian customers are also more likely to try other channels outside the core methods, such as live chat tools, with one in three using self service portals in the last six months.

Based on the findings of the report, the use of key methods is set to increase over the next twelve months as both expectation and demand grows.

Two thirds of Australian respondents are likely to contact a brand via email, with a further 57 per cent likely to address their problems directly instore. If the use of email fails to deliver a result, three in four Australian shoppers will fall back to the ‘failsafe’ phone.

Australia was in line with the rest of globe in its expectations for a quick, simple and logical approach to customer service.

The vast majority, more than 85 per cent, of respondents believe that speed of response (88 per cent), resolution (89 per cent) and the use of effective processes (84per cent) are important to the customer service experience.

The report revealed that Australians appear sensitive to the quality of service they receive. For businesses willing to invest in a simple, seamless and unified user experience, 82% of Australian consumers will use a brand again, with a further 41 per cent prepared to spend more money with a company (compared to a global average of 33 per cent), if they receive excellent customer service.

Australian shoppers will punish brands for bad customer service, with 44 per cent sharing negative experiences with friends and family and 13 per cent sharing poor experiences on social media.

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