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Consumers prefer customer service over digital messaging channels, IMIMobile study finds

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Consumers are more keen than ever to use mobile and digital messaging channels to submit enquiries, receive answers and engage with customer service teams, with 68% of consumers who had used a messaging channel to contact a business saying they preferred this to using phone or email.

So finds IMImobile’s latest ‘Consumer Research Report’, looking at customer service experiences and expectations of 1,000 UK consumers, which also reveals that adoption of digital communication channels, especially around customer service is not as advanced as industry sources may suggest – 71% of consumers still use voice over mobile or landline as the main channel of engaging with a business.

According to the study, consumer expectations are sky high, with 67% of customers believe their enquiry should be answered in less than 5 minutes. 78% of consumers would be willing to wait longer for enquiries to be answered provided they get an acknowledgement of their enquiry over digital messaging channels.

The majority of consumers – 58%– will embrace customer service automation and the use of artificial intelligence if it results in a more efficient customer service experience.

Jay Patel, Chief Executive Officer at IMImobile explains: “We wanted to gain a better understanding of how advanced companies are with their customer service strategies and asked consumers about their recent customer service experiences with UK businesses. In addition, we looked at their perceptions towards digital messaging channels and surveyed their attitudes towards the increasing level of customer service automation through artificial intelligence and chatbots”.

Patel continues: “We found that there is a huge opportunity for companies to gain a competitive advantage by integrating digital communication channels into their customer experience and service strategy. As consumers value their time more than ever, it is essential that businesses, regardless of what sector, adopt these new channels because ultimately the customer experience they deliver is measured against the digital natives and disruptors of this world.”

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