FLORHAM PARK, N.J.– We’ve all experienced a frustrating interaction with customer service. You call expecting a simple resolution to a problem, but 30 minutes and multiple customer service representatives later, you’ve had to repeat your account information and issue for each person you’ve spoken with and still haven’t resolved the problem. Therefore, it’s not surprising to learn that half (47 percent) of technology supplier customers are dissatisfied, according to a new analysis from Conduent Incorporated (NYSE: CNDT) - the first in a series of reports on the state of customer experience across the high tech, communications, and media industries.

Personal Data Use Improves the Customer Experience
Despite most (76 percent) customers providing personal data to their technology suppliers (hardware suppliers, ecommerce websites, software providers, etc.), 59 percent of customers believe these brands do not know them, an increase of 16 percent from just two years ago. While using data more effectively has been a major focus for technology brands to improve the customer experience, the research shows a divide exists between the data coming in and the enhanced experience customers receive. 

With 8 percent of customers willing to change suppliers if their data was used in a better way and 14 percent willing to change suppliers for better service, high tech suppliers need to create a tangible value exchange for personal data. Putting customer data to good use and demonstrating time and cost savings gives the sector a huge opportunity to improve satisfaction, customer experience and drive loyalty.

“Data, predictive analytics and automation are combining to enable new levels of immediacy, personalization and convenience across channels and can help close the gap in customer experience,” said Christine Landry, group chief executive, Consumer & Industrials, Conduent. “By getting to better know the customer and their preferences, we boost efficiency and improve their experience across all the places they interact with a brand, which increases brand loyalty and ultimately cost savings for the provider.”  

Secure Data is Critical
At the same time, customers still have concerns about the security of their data and how it will be used. Technology brands need to assure customer data is secure and will be used to tailor communications to better serve them. And soon, technology brands in Europe will be under increased regulation under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to help ensure that customer data is protected – or face penalty. 

Brands applying customer data securely and in the right way will be able to deliver an enhanced support experience to 100 percent of the customers that provide personal data. Data must be centralized and accessible to ensure a consistent and seamless experience regardless of the channel the customer uses to interact with the brand.  

Brands Now Must Appeal to Three Types of Customers

  • Do-It-Yourself Heroes (24 percent of respondents) are digitally immersed and will look to self-help (website self-help, app self-help, and virtual assistant) to avoid person-to-person interaction.
  • Digital Conversationalists (27 percent of respondents) like to engage with people digitally (email, website web chat, social media) and are inclined to self-solve.
  • Conversationalists (49 percent of respondents) seek human interaction through face-to-face or phone communication.

The Customer Journey is Going Digital

  • Digital channel usage (email, website webchat, social media, self-help, etc.) has increased 65 percent between 2015 and 2017.
  • On-device help, social media and virtual assistant are three channels that are expected to experience the largest usage increase.

With Multiple Channels, Consistency is Key

  • Brands are receiving more than 80 percent of questions over four different channels, but customers experience stark differences in satisfaction between these channels.
  • Brands need to do more than just offer customer service over multiple channels, they need to focus on creating a consistent experience across all channels offered.

Resolution Needed in 10 Minutes or Less
According to our research, 10 minutes or less is the optimal time period to satisfy customers across the majority of channels.

“New technology gives us endless ways for customers to interact with the brand, but most tech brands are offering disjointed and siloed ‘omnichannel-esque’ support today, leading to lower satisfaction,” said Landry. “Our research has identified the need for an enhanced experience across every touch point that matches the quality and experience of the products and services tech brands sell. Conduent’s next-generation customer care enables our clients to connect seamlessly with their customers via the communication channel of their choice.”

Conduent has more than 25 years of experience providing call center services for global companies and handles more than 2.5 million daily interactions in 30 languages with customers of the world’s top brands.

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About the Study:
The State of Customer Experience 2017 study was conducted via an online panel in August and September 2017 on behalf of Conduent and surveyed 6,000 consumers in the United States (2,400), the U.K. (1,200), Germany (1,200) and the Netherlands (1,200). The study will be available in three editions: Technology Edition, Communications Edition and Media Edition. Conduent measured the state of customer experience in the same industries in its Customer Experience 2015 study.

About Conduent
Conduent is the world’s largest provider of diversified business process services with leading capabilities in transaction processing, automation and analytics. The company’s global workforce is dedicated to helping its large and diverse client base deliver quality services to the people they serve. These clients include 76 of the Fortune 100 companies and over 500 government entities.

Conduent’s differentiated offerings touch millions of lives every day, including two-thirds of all insured patients in the U.S. and nearly nine million people who travel through toll systems daily. Whether it’s digital payments, claims processing, benefit administration, automated tolling, customer care or distributed learning – Conduent manages and modernizes these interactions to create value for both its clients and their constituents. Learn more at www.conduent.com.