The pace of change in retail customer service in recent years has been profound, with new technologies and tools both meeting and driving heightened consumer expectations. The abrupt and shocking changes to the retail landscape driven by the Coronavirus pandemic have brought this issue into even sharper relief, as millions of consumers increasingly rely on virtual channels of service to meet their needs. In this environment, taking a step back to assess where the industry stands and where it is headed is a valuable step in planning for a future of increasing challenges and opportunities.
Radial and CFI Group surveyed 500 online shoppers early this spring to understand their experiences across the customer service journey, from self-service in digital properties to the contact center. The resulting feedback underscores the ongoing needs and opportunities for retailers to invest in the tools and technology that support both customer self-service and value-added agent interactions.
COMFORT WITH SELF SERVICE REMAINS ROBUST
As in prior waves of our survey, respondents continued to say that when encountering an issue they usually tried to address it on their own, typically through the company’s website or mobile app. Only 30% said that they had contacted customer service directly without at least some attempt to self-serve in their most recent experience. More generally, 83% of our respondents report that they use self-service options when brands explicitly offer them, an increase of seven percentage points from the same time last year.