According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 60% of consumers say they are going online more often to find the best products and services - and their decisions are heavily influenced by the tools, information and service they find when they go to websites or perform a search.
A new 2013 LivePerson Connecting with Customers report provides some insightful data on what brands and organizations should be paying close attention to as they strive to continuously improve online customer service and the customer experience. The report surveyed more than 5,700 consumers from the US, UK, Australia, France, Italy and Germany.
The data clearly shows that online consumer expectations are rapidly increasing. Eight-three percent (83%) of the more than 5,000 consumers said they consistently needed some type of support during their online journey, and the expectations for speed of service should prove intimidating for most brands:
- 71% expect assistance within five minutes. Yes, five minutes (31% immediately and 40% within just five minutes).
- If they don't receive it, 48% will abandon the site (this percentage jumps to 58% for consumers in the UK).
In terms of customer service and support, speed of resolution and first contact resolution still reign supreme. Consumers ranked the top ten elements of a great online experience in the following order:
- Getting my issue resolved quickly (82%)
- Getting my issue resolved in a single interaction (56%)
- Dealing with a friendly customer service representative (45%)
- Being able to follow up with the same person if necessary (37%)
- Being able to record, print, save a copy of the interaction with the brand (28%)
- Having follow-up after the inquiry to ensure I am satisfied (27%)
- Providing me with customized offers (27%)
- Being able to do other things while my issue is resolved (21%)
- Not having to speak to someone (17%)
- Having a personalized experience (17%)
The top 5 sources of assistance consumers desired to see on a brand or organization's website were:
- A telephone number to call customer service (61%)
- Email address for customer service (60%)
- Live chat (57%)
- FAQ section or knowledgebase (51%)
- Click to call, having a live agent call back (34%)
Half of online consumers (51%) said they would either try once or give up immediately when seeking help when making or considering an online purchase. 56% cited lack of online information about products or services as their reason for abandoning a website.
Taking into consideration the statistics above, brands and organizations should make a combination of self and full-service options readily available on their web properties, as consumer expectations show time and first contact resolution is of the essence.