man wearing headset

Chapter 4

Customer service today

Customer experience defines brand success for consumers today. More than two-thirds say a company is only as good as its service.

Top issues where a human rep is most desired
  • Physical problem with a product or service
  • Billing is inaccurate
  • Technical issues (software, digital, online)
  • Product replacement/return
  • Delayed package or delivery problem
  • Clarification of benefits or account features
  • Internet outage
  • Reservation or booking issue
Top issues where a bot can help
  • Make a payment
  • Update account information
  • Request information on a product
  • Login issues (user name, password)
  • Checking status of a claim
70%
of consumers
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say a company is only as good as its service
39%
of consumers
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say dealing with customer service is always a hassle

Which industries are on the right track?

Consumers responding to this survey reported that banks and financial institutions have the best customer service, followed by cellular providers, pharmacies, retailers and insurers.

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Bank/financial
38%
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Cellular provider
23%
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Pharmacy
22%
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Retail
22%
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Insurance
18%
The Empathy Imperative
call center employees

Now more than a year into the pandemic, consumers worldwide have adjusted how they work, live and play.

Even though friends, family, a meal or a workout are just a tap in an app away, one in three individuals reports feeling more isolated than before. In the US this was even higher—42% of surveyed consumers have become less connected to others.

And, in a landscape where people are increasingly looking for easy resolutions to their issues through digital channels, almost 60% still prefer talking on the phone. For customer experience leaders, it's clear that human connections are crucial to customer success.

Finding that empathy is the most important factor in a customer experience challenges conventional wisdom that CX should ultimately provide effortless experiences.

It's now essential for customers to feel listened to, heard and understood—even if that means taking longer to resolve their issues. There are times when they call the service center just to have a conversation with someone.

Empathy in customer service means:
Knowing each customer, understanding their preferences and anticipating what they need—not asking them multiple times why they've called.
Giving them a connected experience that transfers customer context across channels.
Knowing, in real time, whether an agent interaction or an expedited interaction using technology like a bot would better serve a customer.
Giving customers what they need, in the way they need it, before they know it’s a need.

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