In every customer interaction is a moment of truth, a point when they will decide to take a course of action that will have either a positive or negative impact on the business. It is possible to own this moment and increase the number of positive outcomes. However, far too many organisations fail to adequately prepare themselves for this moment and are blind to the signals of intent the customer is providing.
The challenge and opportunity for businesses today is that there are far more moments of truth than ever before. In fact, the 2012 global Consumer Channel Preference survey (commissioned by NICE Systems) reveals that 86% of consumers are now interacting more often, or at the same level with their service providers than two years ago. Crucially, it is not only the number of customer interactions that is increasing but how they are choosing to interact and transact that is also changing. Our research shows that consumers use an average of six different channels to interact with their service providers and it is only standard mail that is showing signs of declining usage.
So, in order to make the right impact at the moment of truth, organisations need to understand the interaction journey their customers are making across these channels.
The web is unanimously the first channel of choice
In recent years, financial services businesses have been at the forefront in pushing customers towards self-service channels, so it is perhaps unsurprising that the web is now the first port of call for the vast majority of customers, with the uptake of social networks, smartphone apps and SMS also gaining popularity. In fact, 78% of respondents to the survey visit their providers’ web channels weekly and the reason for their repeated return is that it is the most convenient for them, and in the main, they are able to complete their task successfully. However, self-service channels show no sign of totally replacing more traditional assisted interactions such as speaking to a live representative either in branch, or at the contact centre.