54% people prefer phone conversations for customer service

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New Delhi, June 13 (IANS) Despite the explosion of automated services, most people still prefer live telephonic conversations when it comes to accessing customer service, says a new survey.

While 54 per cent prefer live telephonic conversation, the research showed that 34 per cent would switch from a brand if they were unable to speak to a real person and 21 per cent would do the same if they could not locate a customer service telephone number.

The survey was conducted by Longitude – a Financial Times company – on behalf of US telecom carrier Verizon. The study involved 6,000 consumers across 15 countries including India.

“Technology innovation can help brands stand out, but customer service basics remain vital -the best relationships will be built on mutual trust and simplicity,” Gordon Littley, Managing Director of Verizon’s Global CX Practice, said in a statement.

The study found that 42 per cent are open to companies finding new ways of communicating with them, such as via wearable devices or voice-activated personal assistants.

Among the 18-24 year olds, 55 per cent were attracted to companies that deliver customer experience using the latest digital technologies, compared to 47 per cent of 25-65 year olds surveyed.

Nearly 70 per cent of the respondents felt that companies ask for data for the brand’s own gain, rather than to improve customer experience.

But the study also showed that many people are ready to share data in return for rewards as 67 per cent surveyed cited discounts and promotions as being among the top three paybacks they would expect in return for their data, followed by 40 per cent flagging one-click log-in and transaction tools, and 39 per cent desiring more exclusive experiences.

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