It’s that time of year again, when we release the Annual Alvaria Consumer Index and this year is chock-full
of interesting data points that help you understand what customers are thinking across a variety of interaction types, technology platforms and applications with a goal of getting to what they really want and need.
The results were compiled from feedback and opinions of over 1,000 consumers across a wide range of demographics and industries. The attitudes and preferences expressed throughout this survey provide valuable insight into how businesses need to evolve to keep pace with consumers' expectations for overall service.
We uncovered surprising results including five key takeaways for 2021. Below I will highlight one metric in each finding. You can download the full report HERE.
1. Customers Still Want Effective Experiences
Year over year, when customers need to interact with customer service, they want to get it done right. Making sure the issue is resolved correctly stands out above speed, convenience and even personalization.
We employed a MaxDiff experiment to determine the relative consumer importance of key customer service criteria – a new analytical approach established as part of our 2020 Consumer Index Report. There were significant lifts from 2020 to 2021 in consumer prioritization, but effectiveness remained on top.
2. Consumers are Embracing New Ways to Engage
In 2018, less than half of all consumers had interacted with the contact center in any way other than a live agent. Today, almost every channel of communication has jumped to over 50% exposure with some forms surpassing 60%. Forms of contact such as automated text bots, voice bots, and messaging bots are all reaching levels of market penetration we have never seen before.
3. Consumers Expect YOU to Keep Them Informed When it Matters (to them)
still prefer to receive proactive notifications through email. However,
it’s important to note that the dominance of email and voice have both
fallen, making way for increases in desire to be contacted through other
channels across the board. While consumers claim to prefer receiving
proactive notifications through email, it’s important to understand the
difference between consumer preference and end effectiveness. Just
because consumers have a high preference for email communications, does
not mean that it is the most effective way to reach them in every
4. Increase Revenue with Good, Great and Exceptional Experience
As indicated in previous analysis, premium customer service for pay is a controversial and complicated model to implement, but something to keep in mind as the customer service industry continues to show signs of strength and responsiveness – but also fluidity. We expected this figure to rise during the COVID-19 crisis (from 27%), and it did, slightly. Questions to consider here would be “what does exceptional customer service mean?” and “does exceptional customer service mean more live agent interaction?” We suspect “YES” for the latter.
5. The Positive Impact of “Happy Agents”
These numbers alone support the need to ensure your agents exude a sense of happiness and positivity, but it is hard to measure. So what does a Happy Agent “get” you? A happy agent will impact the amount of time your customers are willing to give to sort out their issue or question. This “Happiness Vector” continues to be statistically stable
Your success hinges on your ability to listen and respond to the voice of your customers. Get the report to learn more.
If you’d like to discuss these results and how they may impact your business, let’s talk!