Fewer than a third of small and medium-sized companies deliver the kind of experience that customers want: study

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Customers now expect fast service delivered over the channel of their choice, a new report suggests. And while more than two-thirds of small and midsize companies say they aim to provide a choice of ways to contact customer service, fewer than 35% are truly omnichannel, according to a new Zendesk report.

Zendesk analysed data relating to more than 9,000 small and medium-sized companies around the world, as ranked in its Zendesk Benchmark, and surveyed 300 UK customer service leaders as well as their leaders in the US for its Five Biggest Gaps in Customer Service reports for Small Businesses and Midsize Companies.  The report also draws on findings from the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2019.

It found that as shoppers buy more online, they want more support from the retailers that serve them. UK shoppers also prefer self-service options where possible, with 72% of Generation Z shoppers prioritising self-service over other methods. It also found that customers want a fast response – with 85% contacting support a second time through another channel if they don’t get a response, and 44% will only wait one hour to do that.

Midsized companies that are growing faster than their peers, found the report, were nearly 60% more likely to take an omnichannel approach to customer service, while smaller companies growing faster were 41% more likely to be omnichannel. 

“Customers don’t think about a company’s size when they’re interacting with support,” said Ted Smith, head of market insights at customer service provider Zendesk. “They expect to be able to reach out on the channel of their choice, and to get their issues resolved efficiently. This expectation applies to all businesses, both large and small.”

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