There’s no doubt that self-service has grown as a means for delivering CX in recent years. This does not mean, however, that communication with representatives via phone is going anywhere anytime soon. This is evident in the data collected by Cogito for its latest report, the inaugural “Emotional Experience Index.” In it, the real-time emotional intelligence solutions provider examines the trends surrounding customer experience, call centers, and the relationship between the two in creating satisfied and, consequently, loyal customers.
 
“Phone professionals are at the heart of the customer relationship,” said Josh Feast, CEO and co-founder of Cogito. “Despite the rise of self-service channels, more than three-quarters of consumers prefer to speak with a live individual, and that percentage is even higher when it relates to sophisticated inquiries. Now more than ever, consumers not only expect a certain level of service but are fast to switch providers and share their opinions when expectations are not met. Our survey results combined with our work with leading consumer-focused enterprises leads to the clear conclusion that emotional intelligence is a critical skill and tools that can enhance it will drive more engaged employees and customers.”
 
Beyond the obvious benefits to customer satisfaction, building an effective rapport with customers results in improved employee engagement.
 
Reinforcing what had been a widely accepted principle, the survey found that an overwhelming majority of customer service agents (93%) believed that their style of communication over the phone played a part in impacting the customer’s overall perception of the organization.
 
Cogito’s findings fit directly with complementary studies regarding call centers as they relate to the overall customer experience. In a similar report from Accenture, nearly 75% of customers indicated that a human interaction was preferable to digital solutions in looking to resolve an issue. In another report from market research firm Temkin Group, customers who have a positive emotional engagement with a brand are 12 times as likely to recommend the company to a friend or family member.
 
These findings go a long way in, once again, demonstrating the power of engaging consumers on a personal level through multiple channels of communication.

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