While 95% of companies surveyed reported a dramatic growth in customer self-service requests in 2021, major gaps still exist between what businesses think customers want and what consumers actually prefer
NICE announced the release of its 2022 Digital-First Customer Experience Report, which highlighted significant gaps between company and consumer perceptions of current digital- and self-service channels. As noted in the report, 81% of consumers say they want more self-service options, yet only 15% of consumers expressed a high level of satisfaction with the tools provided to them today, whereas businesses believe 53% of consumers are very satisfied with their self-service. This is despite 95% of companies reporting a major increase in self-service requests in 2021, indicating rapid growth in consumer demand for greater speed and convenience.
The 2022 Digital-First Customer Experience Report was designed to compare the perspectives of businesses and consumers regarding self-service and digital channels, drawing on responses from 1320 respondents in the United States and the United Kingdom. NICE noted that consumer expectations are increasing as digital and self-service channels proliferate and evolve, which has led to companies searching for insights into customer experience and brand loyalty. The report is intended to meet that need, revealing potential blind spots among service providers and helping them improve their digital and self-service options. For example, although 36% of consumers say they would like to see companies make their self-service smarter, less than 11% of businesses are making that a priority.
More generally, the NICE report indicates that 95% of consumers place great importance on customer service, impacting brand loyalty. Online self-service and easy access to their preferred channels are two of the top customer service factors in their brand loyalty decisions. The majority of consumers (57%) surveyed said they would abandon a brand after one or two negative digital customer service interactions, yet most businesses tend to underestimate how quickly that could happen. Nonetheless, the survey does show that companies recognize the importance of current digital channels to consumers and are attempting to improve their availability. In 2022, the top digital channels companies are planning to expand significantly are chat (47%), website access (44%), and search options (42%).
Paul Jarman, NICE CXone CEO, said, “Avoiding friction is the key factor today in shaping opinions and differentiating between brands consumers love, and those they feel are not worth their time. We undertook the 2022 Digital-First Customer Experience Report to provide companies with the consumer’s viewpoint and help them set priorities that drive frictionless experiences. While focusing on digital-first interactions, our report underscores the importance of both agent-assisted and self-service channels, with businesses primarily wanting the ability to choose whichever option they prefer at any given time. This confirms the need for CXi–Customer Experience Interactions–a new approach that focuses on the end-to-end digital customer journey, requiring a complete customer experience platform that only NICE CXone offers.”