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Consumers are demanding multichannel options that are easier to use

Nearly 20 percent of U.S. households now contain 10 or more connected devices, and as consumers increasingly work new communication tools into their daily lives, they are also demanding multichannel options when they need customer service and expect it to be faster and easier to use than ever. Not all companies, however, are meeting those expectations.

New research shows that 70 percent of U.S. consumers say being able to get customer service via multiple channels is important to them, while 36 percent will switch channels if their issue isn’t resolved within an hour. Yet, many seeking customer service report having trouble getting through to knowledgeable agents, having to wait longer than they expect and having trouble navigating automated systems.

Chatbots are only part of the solution, according to Mark Sherwin, managing director at Accenture Interactive. Brands need to better understand the conversations consumers are seeking and make them possible, which means stitching together artificial intelligence and human empathy, designing conversations, curating experiences and constantly evolving.

“Do this right and service becomes a differentiator and growth engine,” he said, “whether this is by retaining customers for longer or building true advocacy that brings new customer conversations to your brand.”