Retail Cited as the Best Sector for Customer Service

Retail and online companies provide best customer service, but consumers want a better omni-channel experience.

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed consumers on how they rate companies for customer service.

The report, titled Creating a seamless customer experience, found that retail was the sector most cited by consumers as providing a good customer service. This was followed closely by consumer good and banks.

When it comes to ecommerce versus bricks-and-mortar, online companies win the award for excellent customer service, with four out of five companies listed most frequently for their customer service skills being relatively new online ones.

However, customers want transactions across all channels – mobile, web, social media and brick-and-mortar – to be simple, quick and transparent.

In contrast, company executives still think in terms of individual platforms, underlining the need for a better understanding of the importance of providing a true omni-channel experience.

SEE ALSO: The Business Value of Integrating the Contact Centre Within Your Omni-Channel Strategy

While improving the customer experience across all channels is identified within the report as a key strategic priority for 79 per cent of those surveyed, company executives cite that progress on joining up channels is limited due to organisational challenges.

Few companies have so far created roles such as the chief customer officer to take charge off the customer journey across all channels, and many still have basic work to do to integrate platforms. Less than a third of those surveyed currently track customer behaviour across all channels.

"Integrating channels can require major company reorganisations and significant investment in unifying separate IT systems," Martin Koehring, the editor of the report, said.

"Most companies now accept that, but they have not yet faced up to the scale of organisational change necessary to become truly omni-channel."

For more insights into omni-channel and how it impacts the retail industry, check out the Customer Experience Exchange for Retail. The exchange is an invitation-only forum, which brings together 60 C-level & VPs/Directors of Customer Experience, Marketing, eCommerce and Retail from Fortune 500 retailers. It takes place in London from 6 - 8 July 2015.