Calls over Skype and Whatsapp. Messages over Google Hangouts and Facebook. Posts and Tweets.
It really can get confusing sometimes, can´t it?
I know from my own experience that sometimes when I haven’t had time to reply to a message right away, I´m having a hard time finding on which platform I had received it. Was it a normal sms? A Facebook chat message? Something on Whatsapp? Or maybe it was Snapchat?
In a way it reminds me of the scene from the movie “He´s just not that into you” where Drew Barrymore complains about the difficulties of dating with so many different channels available and that now she has been rejected by 7 different technologies. And that movie is already 7 years old!
Basically, my point is that nowadays there are so many different ways, how to get in touch with each other, that sometimes it´s even hard for ourselves to keep track of all the communications with friends and family. Now imagine the struggle companies have trying to keep up with their thousands or millions of customers interacting with them on several platforms.
And yes, we customers do feel now so empowered that we believe interacting with companies should be as easy and seamless as with our dear ones. Even though the phone is still our preferred choice when contacting businesses, in fact, according to a study we at Altitude conducted together with Spidermarketing, 82% of us choose the phone, our usage of the other channels is quickly catching up. So for example, 3 in every 5 customers use email and already 1 in every 5 use social media when getting in touch with a customer care center.
At the same time, our channel choice is affected by many different aspects, such as age or country. Obviously, we are all aware of the fact that younger people are more open to digital and social media. What we might not be aware is that the differences are also quite strong among geographies. So for example, 30% of Brazilians would use Facebook for contacting companies, while only 10% of Spaniards would use this channel.
We are really not making it easy for companies. We want to feel special and believe that we deserve nothing else than exceptional, personalized service. More precisely 81% of us believe companies should know our entire prior interaction history.
Also, we don’t want to wait for answers. 24-hour access to email and social media, whether at home or on the move, has raised our expectations immensely. Sending an email to a company when travelling to work is a quick, everyday task for millions of us, so why should the response not be as quick and hassle-free? We expect emails to be replied within 24 hours at the absolute longest. In fact 31% of us, expect a reply within the hour.
When it comes to social media our expectations are even higher. If we post a comment on social media, half of us expect a response within an hour.
There is no doubt that to be successful and to offer us the experience we expect companies need to work a lot. We have become very demanding customers and thanks to social media and blogging we actually do have the power to make businesses cater to our needs. Companies need to take this in account and do their best to offer us the omnichannel service we desire.
You can read more about it in our report “The Omnichannel Evolutions of Customer Service”.