Customers are turned off by a 100 percent fully automated service, while high levels of customer service are more “essential” for B2B customers than B2C, a new report into CX expectations has revealed.

Leeds-based Romero Insurance Brokers have released their Customer Experience Report 2020, for which they surveyed hundreds of UK professionals to gauge their stance on CX expectations,

The report asks what the future of customer service will look like, how digitalisation will affect the customer service landscape, and whether upcoming generations will change the way businesses handle customer service.

As expected, Customer Experience is a key differentiator, with 96 percent of purchasers stating that high customer service levels are very important when making a business decision, while 34 percent labelled it absolutely essential.

The research shows customers expect a great level of customer service, but the majority of the time less than 75 percent of business purchases provide an exceptional Customer Experience.

Meanwhile, 45 percent of respondents would be more likely to choose a vendor that had digitalised their customer service offering, citing speed and ease of service.

However, although digitalisation is increasingly growing in popularity, no consumers are prepared to deal with a 100 percent automated service. Instead, customers prefer to choose from a wide range of communication methods depending on their personal situation. For example, 49 percent would choose real-person communication to resolve a more complex query.

There is a notable correlation between CX expectations and age. Twenty-nine percent of those aged 65 and over say they have never received customer service below their expectations, compared to just seven percent from other age ranges. This could demonstrate that younger generations expect more from businesses.

The report also shows the correlation between age and the importance of more personal and personalised customer service. For example, 85 percent of 18-24-year-olds feel access to good sales people is very important, compared to just 60 percent of those aged 25 and over.

A larger percentage of younger purchasers also feel a personal relationship with a vendor, a personalised buying experience, positivity and enthusiasm of sales staff, and empathy are very important. Businesses can ensure consistent, empathetic service by investing in staff training and ensuring they have an engaged, passionate team. This enthusiasm and care is then naturally passed on to customers.

Simon Mabb, Managing Director of Romero Insurance Brokers, said: “Our research shows the real value of quality customer service. It’s clear that the future of customer service lies in choice, flexibility and personalisation. Customers want to decide how they communicate with a business, and expect an empathetic, personal experience whether they’re chatting to an adviser on the phone or typing out their query on a website live chat.

“Customer service should be all about people, and genuinely connecting with each customer.”

Click here to read the full Customer Experience Report 2020.

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