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The most important factors consumers consider when contacting businesses

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In this blog, we will dive into the most important factors consumers consider when contacting businesses. The factors listed below are the results from a survey ContactBabel, the leading analyst firm for the contact centre and CX industry, conducted with the research firm Aurora Market Research by contacting 1,000 UK consumers.

Consumers were asked to select the top three most important factors when contacting a business. The results are extracted from The Inner Circle Guide to Self-Service available here.

As part of the section on Drivers for Self-Service on Meeting Customer Demand, the following infographic shows the ranking of factors split by age group.

Figure 14 - What are the top 3 most important factors to you when contacting an organisation by phone or digital channel?

We will now give our own views on these factors, starting by from the one which was ranked the most important to the least essential (inverse order of the infographics above)

1. Short queue/wait time for response

This one does not surprise us at all. No one, no matter their age, likes to wait. Being served quickly and fast is perceived as a sign of respect and is a good practice. In a different research, ContactBabel found that the average waiting time for a person to reach an organisation over the phone is around 2 minutes. Conversational self-services tackle this point effectively by being always on. More than that, at Spixii, we found that most consumers solve their queries positively in under 2 minutes. ou read it correctly, but it takes the same amount of time to solve a query using a conversational self-service as waiting to talk to someone over the phone. So why not incentivise consumers to use self-service while waiting on the phone?

2. Your question/issue is solved first-time

Ranked as the second most crucial factor in aggregate yet as the most critical factor for individuals aged 55 and above, solving issues the first time with only one interaction is also crucial. Most of us have the sad experience of talking to someone over the phone to be transferred to another person and again to finally talk to the expert who can solve our question/issue. This painful experience is amplified if consumers have to call again or write another email. Using the expert system approach, which is based on a combination of multiple business rules, Spixii's conversational self-service either solves questions/issues in one interaction in under 2 minutes or doesn't. If they don't, the whole conversation is sent to a customer service agent who will reach out to the consumer, which is twice as quick as if they were contacted in the first place by the individual.

3. UK-based employees

We can't comment on this one, but we guess that this is due to the nature of the survey, which contacted UK consumers only. Regarding conversational self-service, we always encourage our clients to ensure the tone of voice and message copy aligns with the culture of the individuals they will be interacting with. It puts people at ease and makes them feel familiar, which is a plus in building trust when the question/issue is complex. 

4. Polite and friendly employees

Although ranked 4, for us, this is a prerequisite for any interaction. We can't simply imagine a customer service agent or conversational self-service not being polite. Politeness and respect are the foundation of good customer service. True, questions can be solved without necessarily having a polite conversation, but it does leave a bitter taste afterwards.

5. Issue handled by one employee

We relate to this factor with factor #2 on question/issue solved the first time. Ideally, all customer service agents are capable experts empowered to solve any questions/issues of consumers. Understandably, this is not the case, as the possible questions are vast, and the knowledge required is massive. This precise point is solved by conversational self-service. We even dedicated our new white paper to it. You can download it here.

6. Choice of channels

Becoming increasingly important, offering consumers multiple ways of being contacted is crucial. If someone travels, there might be other options than calling from abroad. Even sending emails might be difficult for specific demographics if a laptop or tablet is inaccessible. Digitally speaking, a conversational self-service is easy to use on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone, removing barriers to reaching businesses, even from abroad.

7. Long opening hours

As businesses become more and more international and the customer base is widespread, being able to service consumers in their local time might mean being open outside of "normal" office hours locally. Conversational self-service is 24/7, which solves this problem once and for all and adds resilience to local call centres when they are closed.

8. Short call/web chat times

This final factor is also related to factors #5 and #2, as talking to only one employee and solving the query in one interaction should drastically reduce the interaction time. External pressure and commitments can take their toll on individuals, and every opportunity to save time should be well-spent. As mentioned in the comments of the first most crucial factor, at Spixii, based on several thousands of interactions, most consumers solve their question/issue in less than 2 minutes (1 minute 52 seconds, to be precise).


For more information on conversational process automation and how it can help your customer service operations to save money, you can download a copy of the most recent Spixii white paper ⬇⬇⬇

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