In New Customer Service Study, Brands May Be Wooed by Digital Touchpoints - But Consumers Still Come Home to Tried-and-True Methods of Offline Personal Interactions

CX Act Inc. – a leading customer experience improvement firm - today released its first-ever, groundbreaking Touchpoint Study that reveals instructive and eye-opening insights into the impact of customer contact behavior, handling, and word-of-mouth on brands and the bottom-line in the 2014 marketplace.

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend
This new study provides a first glimpse at analyzing and understanding preferred methods of contact and associated methods of customer satisfaction and loyalty – all critical bottom-line drivers.”

Rosslyn, VA (PRWEB) March 20, 2014

Offline Phone Contact Far Outweighs Digital Levers of Email, Social Media, or Mobile Apps as Preferred Method of Customer Contact

By Ratio of More Than 4-to-1, Customers Satisfied with Handling of Initial Contact Are More Likely to Buy Products or Services and Remain Loyal to Brands

Customer Satisfaction Scores Drop by Over 50 Percent in Multiple Contact Scenarios

CX Act Inc. – a leading customer experience improvement firm - today released its first-ever, groundbreaking Touchpoint Study that reveals instructive and eye-opening insights into the impact of customer contact behavior, handling, and word-of-mouth on brands and the bottom-line in the 2014 marketplace.

With the proliferation of customer contact channels and rise of digital and social media touchpoints in a Web 2.0 ecosystem, customer experience effectiveness and efficiency is evolving rapidly and becoming a critical focal point for brands – with the potential to either positively or negatively impact bottom line results and marketing ROI.

The national CX Act Touchpoint Study of over 3,000 respondents sheds light on what contact levers are most important to customers now and in the future, as well as the current state of contact handling by interaction method and by industry. The study further quantifies the result of contact handling on loyalty and word-of-mouth – both online and offline.

“In todays marketplace, product differentiation is no longer enough to gain an edge and stand above the crowd,” said Crystal Collier, CEO, CX Act. “The real ability to grow market share comes from differentiating the customer experience. To win on the CX margin, brands must understand the preferred method of contact from their customer base and seek out opportunities to constantly improve those channels. This new study provides a first glimpse at analyzing and understanding preferred methods of contact and associated methods of customer satisfaction and loyalty – all critical bottom-line drivers.”

Top Touchpoint Survey Findings

Among key takeaways from the CX Act survey are:

  •     Effective Contact Handling Impacts the Bottom Line: Customers satisfied with how their contact was handled are more likely to intend to remain a customer than those who were dissatisfied with contact handling, by a ratio of 74 percent to 17 percent.
  •     Despite Digital Growth, Customers Still Prefer the Personal Touch: Contacting via phone is considered the most effective channel for resolving issues, with little difference by industry: 52 percent dial by phone, versus 23 percent by e-mail, 17 percent via in-person contact, and only 1 percent via social media or mobile app.
  •     Asking Questions Dominates the Customer Reach-Out: 75 percent of survey respondents contacted a brand simply to ask a question, more than any other reason. And there is still a strong disposition to use customer contacts to complain rather than compliment – by a ratio of 2:1. Interestingly, more consumers still send a letter or a fax rather than post on a company’s social media site or use a mobile app.
  •     Customers Contacting about Bills and Financial Issues: Five of the top six most contacted industries are either in the financial industry, or have a large percentage of their contacts related to billing.
  •     Only Half are Satisfied, Personal Touch Prevails: Only half of surveyed customers are very satisfied with how their complaint/question was handled in their first interaction; satisfaction is highest for those who contact in-person and lowest if done via social media.
  •     Harsh Penalties for Brands Who Fail “First-Contact” Test: Customer satisfaction scores drop by over 50 percentage points among those who have to contact multiple times to address or resolve an issue or question.
  •     One in Five Shares via Social Media: Among those who share their experience via social media, Facebook dominates over Twitter by a 4:1 ratio - but Twitter followers are more engaged.
  •     Banks Rise to the Top on Contact Handling – Banks are one of the most frequently contacted industries, and also boast the highest industry first-contact resolution and satisfaction rate.

“Consumers in 2014 have so many more ways to reach a company than they did just a few years ago,” said Dr. Jim Stone, Chief Customer Officer, CX Act. “Yet when we have a problem or question, the vast majority still prefer the personal touch of a phone call. Social media in customer service is on the front burner and can’t be ignored, but brands seeking to excel at customer service need to be certain their call center talent understand the customers’ needs and are prepared to respond appropriately. Failing to properly navigate the new terrain of customer service touchpoints can adversely impact the bottom-line, while getting it right can drive profits and deepen brand loyalty.”

For a summary of the CX Act Touchpoint Study, please visit http://www.cxact.com/touchpoint.

Study Methodology
The CX Act Touchpoint Study was conducted in the fourth quarter of 2013 through interviews with 3,000 consumers in a nationally representative online panel. The survey queried consumers who had a customer contact experience in the prior 90 days. The survey sought customer feedback involving touchpoint satisfaction and impact of contact handling on loyalty across 16 different industries in the marketplace: Investment; Auto, Home, or Life Insurance; Banks; Medical Insurance; Automotive Services; Credit Card Issuers; Wireless Provider; Airline; Hospital; Hotel; Consumer Electronic; TV, Cable, or Internet Provider; Retailer; Supermarket; Restaurant; and, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG).

About CX Act, Inc.
CX Act, formerly TARP Worldwide, has been helping companies improve their customer experience for more than 40 years. CX Act pioneered the science of quantifying, managing, and optimizing the customer experience and has been a leader in the CX market since 1971. Today, through our innovative research, technology, and customer interaction programs, we continue to set the standard to improve our clients' customer service performance, customer value, and "The Profit of Interaction™." Our clients see a measurable improvement in their key customer metrics and a positive return on their CX investment. CX Act serves corporations in all major industries, leading associations, and government entities. Our experience is customer experience. Visit us at http://www.cxact.com for more information.


Contact