On April the 27th, inContact, a NICE company, (NASDAQ: NICE) announced the results of its recent customer service survey. The company, which is known for its cloud contact center software, surveyed more than 700 consumers, who had a customer service interaction within the past 3 months. This information was collected between March 1 and March 23 of 2017. The “inContact Customer Experience Transformation Benchmark Study” concluded consumers were not getting the “fast resolution” they desired. Fewer than half of those surveyed were satisfied with their experience. The company also took steps to identify the key areas where companies fell short, as well as the role technology plays.

Of the major findings, one of the most eye-opening is the fact that consumers will prefer chatting with a human. While many companies have put great emphasis on self-service, speaking with a live person was preferable to those surveyed. inContact concludes businesses need to find areas where technology can augment human interactions instead of attempting to replace them outright. Simultaneously, consumers experienced more frustration when dealing with email and IVR, interactive voice response, services. These two channels generated the strongest emotions of anger and frustration. Consumers agreed that these channels were slow, uninformative and less personalized.

Even more surprising was the fact that email was considered the least effective method of resolutions. One-third of those surveyed admitted their problem had yet to be resolved when using email as a form of communication. Among those surveyed, millennials had the highest expectations and submitted the lowest customer service ratings. While millennials have grown up with technology, the ratings given to self-service channels, such as apps, bots and websites, were higher among older participants. Millennials admitted they expected their brands to be familiar with their purchase history, while also being proactive.

Finally, the survey carried out by inContact concluded that airlines, credit card companies and retailers scored the highest. Those ranking the lowest included fast food, car rentals and Internet providers. Those interested in analyzing the full research report can do so here.

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