There is a strong need for greater efficiency in customer service operations, particularly in today’s rapidly shifting business environment, according to a study of the state of the customer service industry by omnichannel SaaS platform provider Kustomer.
The survey of over 120 customer service professionals, across a variety of industries, found that 92% of organizations say more efficiency is needed, and 51% reported that there is a much greater need for efficiency than a year ago.
Kustomer surveyed customer service professionals across twenty industries including healthcare, food, beverage and grocery, and finance and insurance industries to better understand the current customer service environment, what tools and strategies businesses are currently using to achieve efficiency, and how technology can play a more central role in turning customer service organizations into profit centers.
Key findings included:
- Limited staff, budget and executive buy-in pose significant efficiency challenges
Sixty-three percent of respondents reported having limited staff, while 44% reported being on a strict budget. Fifty-six percent of agents said that budget prevented their organizations from implementing efficiency tools, while 34% pointed to the absence of executive buy-in.
- Agents perceive immediacy and accuracy of responses to be key customer priorities
Ninety-one percent of respondents said their customers simply cannot stand long wait times, while 79% said their customers won’t tolerate having to repeat information.
- Type and volume of inquiries are the biggest obstacles to delivering efficient support
Thirty-eight percent of respondents point to challenging inquiries as the main reason for inability to provide efficient support, followed by 29% of respondents that say too many inquiries are problematic.
- Adoption of the right tools is necessary to stay efficient and effective
While 57% reported that they are not using any of the typical tools and strategies to deliver efficient support, organizations are considering adopting a variety of tools, including intelligent routing, knowledge base deflection, auto responses and chatbots.
“When business is booming and a wealth of resources are available, efficiency may not be the number one priority for a customer service organization, but as the pandemic continues to challenge brands and customer expectations continue to shift, the power of an efficient and effective customer service organization cannot be underestimated,” said Brad Birnbaum, Co-Founder and CEO of Kustomer. “As businesses have no choice but to do more with less, having the technology tools in place that can minimize the impact of decreased resources and make agents’ jobs easier will play an increasingly important role in delivering a stellar customer experience while ensuring profitability.”
“Now that we have a greater understanding of the efficiency pressures and challenges facing today’s customer service organizations, the adoption of intelligent tools that can handle low level tasks and free up agents’ time to handle challenging inquiries becomes even more essential,” added Birnbaum. “By combining tools like AI-powered technology, sentiment analysis, intelligent routing and chatbots, the Kustomer platform provides agents what they need to deliver highly efficient service, build long-lasting customer relationships, boost brand loyalty and make valuable contributions to the company’s bottom line.”