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Verint: Consumer Expectations and Usage of Digital Channels Are Rising

Verint Consumer Expectations and Usage of Digital Channels Are Rising

The News: Customer engagement company, Verint, has released its 2023 State of Digital Customer Experience report. The data shows heightened pressure on businesses as consumers’ expectations of fast and easy engagement increase. Seventy-seven percent of businesses report consumer expectations of digital engagement have increased over the past year, rising 10% year over year. Over one-third of US consumers aged 18 to 75 who prefer to use digital channels, said their expectations of those channels have increased. Overarching trends identified in the report include:

  • Digital customer engagement is a business imperative
  • Businesses need to improve AI-enabled customer service
  • Legacy systems hinder the omnichannel contact center
  • AI is no longer the future – it’s here

More details on Verint’s State of Digital Customer Experience report are found in this Press Release on the Verint website.

Verint: Consumer Expectations and Usage of Digital Channels Are Rising

Analyst Take: Verint’s 2023 State of Digital Customer Experience held few big surprises but did provide some interesting data around the pace of digital engagement channel usage, trends in customer expectations of digital channels, a pulse check on where AI is fitting into businesses plans, and factors that are holding back the transition to digital.

Rising Expectations and Usage of Digital Engagement Channels

While a sizeable portion of consumers surveyed reported no change in customer service expectations over the past year (57%), more than a third have said their expectations are higher. Those surveyed who prefer to contact a company on a digital channel showed the highest percent change in expectations over the year, with 16% having higher expectations of their digital engagement.

Digital channels are growing in popularity and have been over the past few years. Included in this is social media. The report showed that half of all consumers have contacted a company through a social media channel and/or private messaging with a healthy year-over-year growth of 14% and 13%, respectively.

It’s always a surprise, to me at least, to see the phone still hanging in there as a very popular channel for company contact. It demonstrates that company contact channels have to be “different things for different people.” It likely also indicates that digital channels are still working toward providing the easy resolution that speaking with a human often supports.

Verint: Consumer Expectations and Usage of Digital Channels Are Rising
Image Source: Verint

The Components of Good Customer Service

The most important factors to consumers for good customer experience were fast response and easily getting answers on service issues.

Verint: Consumer Expectations and Usage of Digital Channels Are Rising
Image Source: Verint

Providing a good customer experience has implications beyond the warm and fuzzy of “I love this brand”, yielding repeat business and loyalty. Eighty percent of consumers would purchase products and services from the company again if they experienced great CX. On the flip side, 69% of consumers said that with just one poor customer experience, they would stop doing business with a company.

Customer Engagement Strategies Embrace AI

More than 50% of CX leaders report AI is a key part of their CX strategy. Twenty-seven percent of businesses have plans to expand their AI use in the future. Virtual assistants for self-service, generative AI, and intelligent interaction routing are the top three AI technologies businesses expect to have impact on engagement over the next 2 years.

Companies have work to do in this area. According to the research, 64% of customers have had negative interactions with chatbots.

Legacy Systems Hinder the Shift to Digital

The majority of businesses feel they are taking a proactive approach to digital customer engagement (67%) but are being held back by several factors. Legacy contact center solutions are represent one such factor. Forty-six percent of companies report this as a barrier, with many legacy systems unable to integrate with more modern technologies or incorporate digital customer engagement channels. Employee resistance to change of process is the next most-cited barrier at 42%.

This last point, on employee resistance is an interesting one and is an opportunity area for companies to leverage the many agent supporting technologies in the employee experience (EX) tech stack, particularly in training, coaching, and skills development to help build confidence and success.

Disclosure: The Futurum Group is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.

Analysis and opinions expressed herein are specific to the analyst individually and data and other information that might have been provided for validation, not those of The Futurum Group as a whole.

Other Insights from The Futurum Group:

Verint Launches Enterprise Experience Management

Announcements from Verint Engage 2023

Verint Broadens Google Cloud Partnership

Author Information

As a detail-oriented researcher, Sherril is expert at discovering, gathering and compiling industry and market data to create clear, actionable market and competitive intelligence. With deep experience in market analysis and segmentation she is a consummate collaborator with strong communication skills adept at supporting and forming relationships with cross-functional teams in all levels of organizations.

She brings more than 20 years of experience in technology research and marketing; prior to her current role, she was a Research Analyst at Omdia, authoring market and ecosystem reports on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and User Interface technologies. Sherril was previously Manager of Market Research at Intrado Life and Safety, providing competitive analysis and intelligence, business development support, and analyst relations.

Sherril holds a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from University of Colorado, Boulder and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Rutgers University.

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