UKCSI – Customer experience in channels

In the final bite size post around the latest UKCSI from the July results, we’re going to look at the use of and satisfaction with both digital and traditional channel preferences from a customer perspective and some of the key takeaways for organisational learning.

Digital vs. traditional?

Just over a third (36%) of all customer experience take place through a digital channel (web, email, chat, text, app or social media) with the remaining 64% through traditional channels (face to face, phone or writing). Satisfaction between digital and traditional is broadly similar, 77.8 for digital and 78.5 for traditional.

However, there are more notable differences when looking across sectors. Out of 13 sectors, only Utilities and Tourism show over 50% digital channel preference by customers (52.9% and 66.3% respectively). The least digitally adopted customer experience sectors are Retail (Food) at 16.6%, Public services local at 17%, national at 21.8% and Leisure at 18.5%.

Digital continues to be both an opportunity and a challenge for public services with the ongoing cost pressures they face whilst trying to maintain and improve the customer experience. Demographics within a local authority, access to the internet and the complexity of individual circumstances continue to be barriers in service transformation that we at Custerian see directly with public sector clients. Optimised, blended solutions supported by efficient and effective processes, delivered through engaged employees seem to be the way forward.

Does task make a difference to channel or satisfaction?

One key takeaway around channel is that preference doesn’t necessarily lead to higher satisfaction and that customers use channel for different purposes.

Digital takes preference for enquiries with 21.6% of customers versus 12.9% traditional channels but with lower levels of satisfaction for digital (74.1 vs. 77.7).

For purchase, traditional trumps digital at 46.8% versus 39.4%, however here digital has marginally higher customer satisfaction levels (80.3 vs. 80.1).

 Is digital all about the youth?

Whilst the general perception is that digital is dominated by youth, the real usage of the channel is more broadly spread.

The highest usage range ranks as follows;

Interestingly, when you look into digital channel usage by gender, women use email as a higher usage channel than men (9.9% vs. 6.7%) and use it 53.6% of the time when making an enquiry vs. only 30.6% by men.

However again, channel preference doesn’t guarantee satisfaction. Despite the higher adoption of email use by women, they’re less satisfied when compared to men which bucks the overall trend as women are generally more satisfied than men.

Digital strategy and consistency for customer experience

The final key takeaway is that there definitely seems to be different strategies within organisations to a digital vs. traditional channel approach from the results. However what is clear is the need for consistency across channels in terms of customer experiences, allowing customers their preference of choice.

And final thoughts..

This closes out our series of 3 mini blogs on the July ’17 UKCSI results. We’ll continue to keep a keen eye on the numbers as we progress through what could economically and politically be a very disruptive remaining 6 months of 2017, not to mention the continued expansion of digital and technology advances and adoption, which if delivered well by organisations should create better, more integrated and friction less customer experience. Here’s to progress!

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