Digitalisation in customer service: the stats

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Digitalisation is impacting almost every aspect of our lives. Businesses across the country are using technology to improve the speed and efficiency of their services. Consumers are targeted by digital marketing. We communicate with our friends on social media. We stream our entertainment. But how is digitalisation impacting customer experience?

Digitalisation in customer service stats

  • 60% of consumers prefer to communicate by email
  • 45% of consumers would be more likely to choose a vendor if they had digitalised their customer service offering
  • 44% of companies have already moved to a digital-first approach for customer experience
  • Over 50% of consumers expect a customer service response within an hour
  • 40% of customers prefer to speak to a real human for complicated issues
  • 90% of consumers expect businesses to have a customer service online portal
  • 85% of customer interactions will be handled without the need for a real person

What is the difference between automation and digitalisation?

Gartner refers to digitalisation as “the process of moving to a digital business.” This is slightly different to automation, which is defined as “the process of leveraging digitisation to improve business processes.”

Here’s an example. Digitalisation is setting up a central email system that collects contact form data. Automation is setting up a system to automatically assign emails to the right department.

While business professionals seem generally accepting of digitalisation, our research shows consumers are slightly more hesitant about automation. In fact, zero percent would be happy with all-automated customer service.

Making customer service seamless

Both automation and digitalisation provide quick, efficient and personal service. Digitalisation allows a customer’s information to be stored, tracked and updated. So, whether a customer calls the telephone line or joins a live chat, the customer service representative will be able to see their last conversation and pick up where it left off.

90% of consumers want this seamless omnichannel experience. This is because consumers want to use different communication channels for different needs. A quick query about delivery could be easily solved via automated live chat. But how about a complex payment or refund issue? This will require the expertise and empathy of a real human being.

Why do customers want a digitalised service offering?

  • Customer service is available 24/7 (37%)
  • Ability to multitask while sorting out a customer service issue (35%)
  • Shorter wait time for a question to be answered (34%)
  • Chat / email logs provide proof of contact and transparency (30%)
  • Getting better results for a query than a sales person could provide (29%)

Why do customers prefer a real-person interaction?

  • A person can better resolve a more complex query (49%)
  • Speaking to a real person makes solving queries more efficient (43%)
  • It allows people to build a better relationship (39%)
  • It feels better to speak to a real person (34%)
  • It’s preferable to speak about customer service issues (24%)

It’s clear that speed and efficiency is the main reason people choose digitalised customer service options. However, for more complex or personal issues consumers prefer to speak to a real person.

Put simply – consumers want choice when it comes to digitalisation and automation. They want to be able to control how they communicate with a brand depending on their query. Businesses should make sure they can offer consistently good service across all communication channels, digital or not.

Have a question about customer service? Contact the team or follow us on social media for all the latest updates.

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