Great Customer Service is the True Test of Customer Experience

To get ahead in customer experience, companies first need to have a look at customer service and what consumers truly want.

A new study by Aspect Software has found that customer service increasingly defines the customer experience, with 76 percent of all generations viewing customer service as a "true test" of how much a company values them.

Yet despite customer service making up such a large part of the overall customer experience, nearly a third of consumers don’t actually want to talk to a company’s customer service representatives – they would rather clean a toilet.

A reason for this discrepancy between customer service and customer experience could be that consumer preferences are not adhered to, as 73 per cent consumers said that they should have the ability to solve most product and service issues on their own.

In fact, 65 percent of all generations and 69 percent of Millennials say that they feel really good about both the company and themselves when they are able to answer a question or solve a problem related to that company on their own.

Joe Gagnon, SVP and GM of Aspect’s Cloud Solutions, said: "The average consumer interacts with customer service 65 times a year, yet they are increasingly underwhelmed with an experience that does not reflect consumers’ digital and mobile preference nor their desire to resolve issues on their own.

"This represents a tremendous missed opportunity for companies to build business and secure customer loyalty."

Furthermore, a majority of 55 per cent of Millennials say that their customer service expectations have increased over the last three years.

And a nearly equal amount, 56 per cent, moved their business from at least one company in the past year as they experiences poor customer service.

Companies cannot ignore the increasing buying power of Millennials as this generation is poised to outspend boomers by 2017, and spend £1.4 trillion annually in the US alone by 2020.

Jason Dorsey, Chief Strategy Officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics, added: "When it comes to customer service, the average Millennial is going to look for both the ability to communicate the way they like, be it through text or Twitter, and maintain that level of customization made possible when speaking to an agent in real-time.

"Therefore companies who don’t adapt their engagement approach are at great risk of near-term obsolescence."