What is the ‘purpose’ of customer support? What would happen if you didn’t offer a support channel to customers? And what do your customers think that the support channel is for?
According to new research from Zendesk a shocking number of customers in the UK believe that multichannel customer support is just offering multiple ways to sell more stuff – rather than offering genuine support for products or services.
In fact, 82 per cent of customers say that if a brand goes out of their way to make support easy and efficient – and doesn’t try selling something new at every opportunity – then they will be very likely to do more business with that company.
The research highlights the difference between patient and impatient consumers, with the Japanese being most patient and Brazilians the least patient. Knowing some of these traits is important when planning how to support your customers.
But over half (54%) of UK consumers still reach for the phone when they need help, primarily because the phone is seen as giving the quickest resolution to customer support issues. Other channels such as email and social media are growing in popularity, but they are still not seen as quicker than just picking up the phone.
This research is important, but regardless of national characteristics, there is also an expectation of support from the various channels that feeds into how patient a consumer really will be. If you use email to report a problem, most people will be happy with a response within a day, if they use social media then a reply within a few hours would be OK. So half of all support may still be on the phone because it is faster, but I would expect many more non-urgent complaints or problems to be going across these other channels before long.
Photo by Darwin Bell licensed under Creative Commons