RingCentral a leading provider of AI-first global enterprise cloud communications, video, webinars, hybrid events, and contact centre solutions shares research revealing many Brits are so frustrated with customer service interactions that nearly one in five (18%) would prefer to deal with a vermin infestation in their home than contact customer service.
Customers shun businesses after poor customer service experience
Against the backdrop of the current cost-of-living crisis, the majority of Brits (97%) are naturally citing price as the most important factor influencing their purchasing decisions.
However, not far behind, many Brits (87%) reference high quality customer service as an important factor.
RingCentral’s data suggests high quality customer service experiences are a cornerstone for retaining customers, with two thirds (65%) saying they would be unlikely to return to a company that delivered bad customer service.
Feelings of frustration with customer service are flourishing among Brits
Despite the clear importance of quality customer service, Brits are regularly being left frustrated, with automated customer service systems (53%), the amount of time to speak to / hear back from customer service (43%) and having to explain the issue multiple times to different people (42%) cited as the biggest frustrations.
Compounding this, of the 91% of those who have been passed on between agents, 98% then have to re-explain their reason for contacting customer service.
As a result, Brits are so frustrated with customer service interactions that more than half would rather be without TV for an hour (53%) or clean the bathroom (51%). Meanwhile, two fifths (42%) would rather go without the internet for an hour and almost a fifth of UK adults (18%) would prefer to deal with a vermin infestation in their home than contact customer service.
Consumers feel AI can help improve customer service
Given the role AI tools can play in driving more positive agent and customer experiences, RingCentral’s research also explored where consumers would most like to see AI focused on the customer service journey to help mitigate frustrations.
The data reveals over a third (35%) of UK adults would most like to see AI enable a single agent to access their full history to avoid repeating information. A further 34% would like AI to help reduce the average hold times when calling customer service, while 28% wish to see it playing a role in expanding availability of support to 24/7.
By embedding generative AI in the contact centre, businesses can increase effectiveness of customer service agents and reduce time spent on admin, freeing agents up to focus on serving customers.
Steve Rafferty, VP of International at RingCentral said, “Despite many businesses facing the need to cut costs, in the most extreme cases to avoid shutting up shop, this research shows they cannot afford to ignore customer experience and quality service.
“The data is clear that it is critical to customer loyalty and repeat purchases.
“The good news for businesses is the latest advances in generative AI can solve many of the challenges our research highlights, by bringing together voice, video and digital channels seamlessly so agents can easily engage with customers.
“From giving customers access to their channel of choice to ensuring agents have the full context of that person’s journey and interaction history, technology has a huge role to play and should be a cornerstone in any strategy to delivering industry-leading customer experience.”