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Your Customers are Waiting – But for How Long?

Tara Wildt | Jun 15, 2017 110 views 1 Comment

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ce_10_minute_800x300
Source: iStock

Across industries, it’s easy to see that CX is increasingly becoming one of the most important competitive differentiators (more than 80% of companies, in fact, say this is true for them). It’s true that customer experience encompasses a wide range of functions for a brand — from website experience, to shopping and purchasing experiences, to after-purchase care. But for a lot of companies, the contact center is still one of the most important — and most frequent — interactions they have with a customer. So the fact that consumer satisfaction with contact centers continues to decline is cause for concern for many companies.

Today’s ever-connected consumer brings new expectations for customer service, including on-demand problem resolution. So, increasingly, companies are expected to resolve customer service issues quickly and efficiently. Customers don’t want to have to put out a lot of effort to interact with your company. Meaning, they don’t want to jump through hoops to resolve and issue, and they don’t want to spend a lot of time doing so either.

BUT HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU REALLY HAVE?
The problem is, your customers may be willing to spend even less time than you think to get their issues resolved. In a recent survey on Customer Effort, we found that — for many consumers — there is a 10 minute threshold when it comes to dealing with customer service issues.

The study found that, for simple issues (such as resetting a password or updating personal information), slightly more than half of respondents (53%) were only willing to spend up to 5 minutes resolving an issue, and an additional 28% would spend up to 10 minutes. For moderate issues (such as changing a reservation or making a return), 17% of respondents were only willing to spend up to 5 minutes, with an additional 49% willing to spend up to 10 minutes. For complex issues (such as canceling and rebooking a flight), 25% would spend up to 10 minutes and an additional 36% would spend up to 20 minutes.

Customer Effort Time Chart
Source: Interactions.com

This was true across industries — although respondents did indicate that they had more patience for companies dealing with sensitive and personal issues (such as Healthcare and Finance) than for industries such as Retail or Technology when resolving issues.

If the length of time it takes one of your customers to resolve an issue is hurting your CSAT scores or overall CX, what can you do about it?

Start by taking a good look at your customer service experience — and figuring out what is causing roadblocks. Is your wait time too long? Are customers spending a long time speaking with an IVR, only to later be transferred to a live agent where they are forced to repeat the same information again? Or is your chatbot only set up to repeat FAQs without offering any new information, wasting the customer’s time? All of these can lead to customer frustration and a poor experience.

Invest in the right tools to provide an easy, straightforward path for your customers to get things done, and they’ll love you for it.

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One Response to Your Customers are Waiting – But for How Long?

  1. Brittney Sly June 16, 2017 at 10:55 am (26 comments) #

    Hi Tara! This is a great article and you make great points about how customer service and experience are becoming increasingly important, especially in the Social Age. Customers want to be heard quickly, and don’t want to waste their time. The quicker you can resolve their issue, the better overall experience they are likely to have with your brand. If you make them wait for an answer they will likely go to some form of social media to complain about their experience. With the amount of technology available to companies now this is an increasingly important issue. Great read!

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