Cupertino, CA, 29 September 2022 – In addition to traditional communication channels, Facebook is becoming increasingly popular among businesses communicating with customers. While the app still ranks behind e-mail and telephone for this purpose in the U.S., it is used by 45 percent of customer service teams; 15 percent of those surveyed report that Facebook drives the most inquires by customers.
This is confirmed by the second part of the most recent OTRS Spotlight, for which OTRS AG, manufacturer and world’s largest provider of the service management suite OTRS, in cooperation with market research company Pollfish, surveyed 500 customer service leaders in Germany, the USA, Brazil, Mexico and Singapore on various aspects of customer service.*
#1 Multi-channel communication: E-mail and telephone rank 1st and 2nd, Facebook is catching up
Looking at the communication channels used by respondents and preferred by customers, the picture is clear: E-mail and telephone remain ahead in both respects, both on average globally and in the U.S. In the U.S., for example, e-mail is used by 85 percent of customer support staff, and 34 percent of customers use it most frequently to contact companies. 70 percent of support teams in the U.S. can be reached by phone, which customers prefer to do in 25 percent of cases.
In the U.S., 13 percent of customer service teams use Facebook to communicate with their customers This puts the channel in third place among the channels most used and most popular with customers in this country.
#2 Channel ranking: Businesses understand customer preferences
Businesses in all the countries examined appear to have a good understanding of their customers’ preferences, even beyond the most popular channels of email, telephone and Facebook. The channels used by customer support are highly consistent in their ranking with those preferred by customers.
Table 1: Ranking of communication channels used by customer service and preferred by customers in all countries surveyed
|Global Channel Breakdown||Channel usage customer service in percent (rank)||Channel most used by customers in percent (rank)|
|41.4 (4)||9.6 (4)|
|Chat||38.2 (5)||5.0 (6)|
|35.4 (6)||5.8 (5)|
|Owned App||23.2 (7)||4.8 (7)|
|15.2 (8)||0.4 (9)|
|15.0 (9)||1.2 (8)|
#3 Self-service tools increase customer satisfaction and give more time per contact
Good customer service can also be about providing powerful self-service tools. 77 percent of all respondents use them, 93.8 percent of whom state that they are better able to support their customers as a result. This in turn is reflected in customer satisfaction, which more than two-thirds (68.6 percent) were able to increase in this way. 49 percent also find more time for customer contact to take place, 23.4 percent record fewer inquiries and 19.2 percent were able to reduce the customer churn rate. Self-service tools therefore have a positive effect on both sides: Customers can serve themselves 24/7 with the information or services they need without having to wait, while customer service can spend more time with other customers inquiries or resolve more complex issues.
Given these positive effects, customer service teams in many parts of the world are relying on their use. In the United States, self-service tools are used by 83 percent of teams. In Brazil, 89 percent of customers and customer service teams are already benefiting from the use of such tools. Following closely are Singapore (77 percent) and Mexico (73 percent).
#4 Most useful self-service tools: Online portals and self-service ordering
When asked which self-service tools have proven particularly helpful for customers on the one hand and customer support staff on the other, it becomes clear once again that many areas of life are shifting to the online world. At 55.8 percent on global average, the ability to complete order transactions independently online is the most useful benefit for customers. This option, which also contributes directly and automatically to a company’s cross-selling and up-selling, makes life easier for customer service staff as well (49.9 percent). Equally helpful for customer service agents and customers are the options for customers to send inquiries via an online portal (52 and 53.5 percent) and to make appointments themselves (42.9 and 41.6 percent).
“Self-service is particularly in demand from customers where it directly contributes to revenue: online orders. For businesses, this is a clear signal to build and expand this function well,” advises Andreas Bender, VP Consulting at OTRS AG. “However, this is by no means the end of the road. Given increasingly diversifed communication channels, self-service tools must also be integrated as seamlessly as possible with the other processes and channels in customer service. Only with the right systems and well-integrated processes can businesses create efficient multichannel communication and thus a smooth customer experience that sets them apart from the competition.”
*The data used is based on an online survey conducted by Pollfish Inc. among 500 customer service leaders in Germany, USA, Brazil, Mexico and Singapore between 22/07 and 06/08/2022.
About OTRS Group
OTRS Group is the manufacturer and the world’s largest provider of the enterprise service management suite OTRS, awarded with the SERVIEW CERTIFIED TOOL seal of approval. It offers companies industry-independent solutions for structured communication in customer service, IT service management and security management. In addition to the core product OTRS, the security solutions STORM and CONTROL ensure efficient cybersecurity incident management and transparent documentation in accordance with standards such as ISO 27001.
Among its customers are Lufthansa, Airbus, Porsche, BSI (Federal Office for Security in Information Technology), Max Planck Institute, Toyota and TUI Cruises. The company consists of OTRS AG and its five subsidiaries OTRS Inc. (USA), OTRS S.A. de C.V. (Mexico), OTRS Asia Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OTRS do Brasil Soluções Ltda. (Brazil) and OTRS Magyarország Kft. (Hungary). OTRS AG is listed on the basic board of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.
For more information, see www.otrs.com.