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Gartner Customer Service Experience Research

12 Jan 2022

How customers view service channels

Gartner surveyed 4,000 customers from around the world to find out how they interact with customer service channels to gain an insight into trends, channels and behaviours to watch this year.

This research has identified 5 interesting myths and the realities surrounding customer service journeys.

1. How do customers respond to a proactive service?

Myth: Adopting a proactive service allows organisations to anticipate customer problems and to push customers to self-service options, heading off costly contact service channels such as phone or live chat.

Truth: In reality, customers do like to be contacted proactively, but rather than head off further interaction, it actually leads to customers using more channels. Although this doesn’t reduce costs which many service organisations were aiming to do, it does help to build customer loyalty.

Action: Look at historical customer data and feedback, and implement a proactive customer strategy based on customer needs.

2. How do customers try to resolve issues?

Myth: There is a belief that customers trust customer service channels and automatically use them when they have a problem as they believe them to offer the best and most trustworthy solution.

Truth: Most customers view customer service contact centres as their last resort, particularly millennials and Gen Z, who see third-party sites as their go-to source of reliable, honest information.

Action: Understand the customer service journey and how customers interact with other sites and optimise your self service pages to ensure they feature on the first page of search results.

3. How do customers decide what channel to use?

Myth: Self service is the quickest way for customers to find a resolution, which is why customers consistently go down that route when it’s available.

Truth: Customers stick to the tried and tested methods they’ve used before. A quick resolution is important to them, but they often don’t appreciate how long it will take to find a solution via assisted channels. This could be a reason for them not using or abandoning self-service.

Action: Consider using chatbots to interface with customers and guide them away from assisted-service contacts to self service resolution.

Person typing on laptop, Chatbot image saying What Can I Help you with? on the screen

4. Do customers mind using multiple channels for a resolution?

Myth: If customers switch channels, it will take them longer to find a resolution which annoys them. This leads to lower retention and negative reviews. To avoid this, customers must find an answer via their first channel.

Truth: First resolution is always preferable, but customers are used to switching between different service channels, so they are pretty happy to do this to resolve an issue. Customers don’t like when their resolution journey is disrupted and have to start over again. This causes annoyance and a dissatisfied customer.

Action: Make sure your service channels are connected by adopting a dynamic customer engagement (DCE) framework to deliver an intelligent, effortless, consistent experience across channels.

5. What drives customer loyalty?

Myth: If a customer is satisfied by the service provided, they will remain a loyal customer, recommend the company, and share their great experience with other people.

Truth: Customers are loyal to a company’s products and services, not because they have received a good service experience. Rather than adding to the customer service experience, companies should focus on enhancing service and products. Adding value to these areas will retain and grow customers, not the customer service experience.

Action: Determine what value enhancements are needed for specific customer segments.


If you have any questions or want to discuss chatbot implementation or your CX strategy, get in touch, we're here to help.

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