Consumers Expect Customer Service Agents to Know Their Engagement History

July 23, 2019

An overwhelming majority (95%) of retail customers say they try to resolve an issue online at least some of the time, with two-fifths (42%) trying to resolve their issue online first most of the time. That being said, a new survey [download page] by Radial and CFI Group, found that when customers do contact customer service, they have certain expectations of the information available to the agent.

As brands compete for the attention of customers across multiple channels, brand marketers are looking to excellent customer service as a way to stand above the rest. However, in the eyes of the consumer, to provide excellent customer service means having access to interaction history.

In fact, one-third (34%) of the 500 online shoppers surveyed said they expect the agent to have their purchase history for online or phone interactions, while 28% say they expect agents to have access to purchase history for all interactions, including purchases made in a physical store. Additional data [pdf] from the study partner, CFI Group, revealed that about one-quarter (23%) of respondents say they are less likely to purchase from an agent who did not have access to their purchase history.

Expectations for interactions with the brand differ only slightly from that of the expectations surrounding purchase history. Some 38% of respondents say they expect customer service agents to have access to any interactions they’ve had with the brands for online or phone interactions only. Another 24% say they expect agents to have access to all brand interactions.

Although past data has shown that consumers are becoming more comfortable using chatbots consumers still prefer to engage with a human, whether it be over the phone or online, with online chat ranking as one of the top three preferred methods of communication with businesses. This most recent survey shows that 16% of respondents who interacted with customer service did so through online chat on the brand’s website.

About the Data: Radial and CFI Group surveyed 500 online shoppers to understand their experiences across the customer service journey, from digital properties to the contact center.

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