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Chat Me, Tweet Me, Call Me, Maybe? Increase in Channel Choices Not Yet Improving Customer Relationships

CHELMSFORD, MA — (Marketwire) — 03/19/13 —

, a leading provider of fully-integrated , , and solutions, today announced new survey results revealing continued frustrations with companies- customer service, so much so that four in ten (42 percent) say they would rather experience a trip to the DMV than contact customer care. Why so disgruntled? This could be in part because 64 percent agree they do not feel they are treated like valued customers when they interact with customer service. And, companies seem to have failed to quell some of the largest gripes like being directed to an automated response (67 percent) and having to repeat themselves (65 percent).

Consumers are demanding more, including choice of the channel of communication, from traditional voice to social media. However, clear disconnects exist between consumer expectations and companies- use of multiple channels. For example, 42 percent of survey respondents agree that they-d rather have companies use social media for good customer service than to promote their products; only 1 percent feel social media provides the best customer experience. This is an indication that most companies have not started to embrace social media as a preferred channel for customer care.

Call them frustrated:

Of those who have sought help on social channels, only 7 percent say that these channels provide the fastest resolution and the best customer experience.

However, in an effort to quickly get their issue resolved while interacting with customer care, a larger number admit they have threatened to share their experience with others (16 percent) or broadcast their frustration through social media (9 percent).

“Unfortunately most companies have been slow to respond to fundamental shifts in their relationships with their customers, and this is part of why the experience of too many is falling short,” says Jim Freeze, SVP and chief marketing officer at Aspect. “Expanding channels is increasingly allowing customers to take more control of the care conversation, but it has also increased their service expectations. This has enabled an environment where people are not afraid to air their grievances in the most public of forums. This not only creates customer experience challenges, but more importantly it offers opportunity for organizations to deliver multichannel service, including new channels like social, that consistently meet customer demands.”

However, when it comes to meeting customer expectations, there is some good news for brands who do offer multiple channels, including phone, email, online chat and social media, for customer service:

Seventy-seven percent of Americans think companies that offer multiple channels as part of their customer service are easier to do business with and 74 percent say they provide better service.

What-s more, 67 percent agree they feel more in control of their relationship with a company when it offers multiple channels for customer service.

“Simply providing access on multiple channels is not enough,” adds Freeze. “As the -multi-channel customer experience- — where an interaction can start on one channel and seamlessly transition to another — becomes the new gold standard, contact centers are emerging as the new center of the customer experience. Companies must align their people, processes and the growing number of company-customer touch points to lessen frustrations and deliver consistent and remarkable customer experiences.”

Aspect is addressing these consumer sentiments and the evolution of the customer-company relationship with new information, tools and resources for company contact centers unveiled today at and at the Enterprise Connect trade show at booth #1137. Follow the conversation on Twitter at #RevRelationships.

An online omnibus survey was administered among a demographically representative national sample of 2,500 American adults 18 and older, of which 2,158 have contacted customer service. The survey was conducted from February 28 to March 3, 2013. Data for this study are tested for statistical difference at a 95 percent confidence level. Data are weighted to reflect accurate representation of the population.

TNS is the world-s largest custom research agency delivering insights and research-based business advice to its clients so they can make more effective business decisions. TNS offers comprehensive industry knowledge within the many different industry sectors, supported by a unique product offering that stretches across the entire range of marketing and business issues, specializing in product development & innovation, brand & communication, stakeholder management, retail & shopper, and qualitative research. TNS is part of the Kantar Group.

Aspect-s fully-integrated solution unifies the three most important facets of modern contact center management: customer interaction management, workforce optimization, and back-office. We help the world-s most demanding contact centers seamlessly align their people, processes and touch points to deliver remarkable customer experiences. For more information, visit .

Follow Aspect on Twitter at . Read our blogs at .

Aspect, the Aspect logo, are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Aspect Software, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries. The names of other companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Tim Dreyer
+1 630 227 8312

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