New Global Report Reveals 9 in 10 Companies See ‘Self-Service’ as the Future for Customers

New Global Report Reveals 9 in 10 Companies See ‘Self-Service’ as the Future for Customers

A new survey has shown that 88% of companies believe ‘self-service’ will be the fastest growing channel in customer service by 2021.

The State of Native Customer Experience Report, revealed at Unbabel’s Customer Centric Conference 2019, details the opinions of senior executives surveyed at global companies (including several Fortune 500 organizations), regarding their worldwide multilingual customer support operations across the technology, retail, travel, finance, business services and entertainment sectors.

The survey was run by Execs In The Know, a global community of customer experience professionals, having been commissioned by multilingual support provider Unbabel.

The report reveals that ‘average speed of answer’ is no longer the gold standard by which customer support is measured. When asked which general factors had the highest impact on customer satisfaction, nearly all respondents (92%) rated “solving the customer’s problem” as having the most impact, followed by providing “knowledgeable support agents” (64%) with “speed of case resolution” (62%) only third most important.

In other words, first-time resolution — delivered by agents well-equipped to understand and address customer queries — has emerged as the key performance metric. More than 80% of companies surveyed stated that they were investing in chatbots to meet these growing levels of customer demand.

“In a highly competitive landscape, delivering high-quality support in a customers’ native language can be a major differentiator for businesses,” said Chad McDaniel, Execs In The Know President and Co-Founder. “With 76% of the respondents expecting live chat to increase and 70% expecting social media volumes to increase over the next two years, businesses need to ensure their native language strategy is effectively servicing all customers in all channels.”

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The survey also provided a definitive ranking for the most expensive languages to cover in customer support. Japanese ranked first as the most expensive language, followed by German, French, and Chinese.

When asked, “What is your biggest and most painful challenge in terms of languages and customer service?” nearly half of survey respondents (47%) identified sourcing and agent retention as the primary pain point.

While talent retention and sourcing for high-demand customer service languages remains a priority for global organizations, technological advances in natural language processing and machine learning are paving the way for more intelligent virtual assistants that can accommodate changes and fluctuations in customer demand.

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Unbabel CEO Vasco Pedro commented: “This research makes it clear that the channels where customer interactions take place are evolving along with technological and cultural shifts. In line with Unbabel’s roadmap, the vast majority of respondents expect self-service volumes to increase over the next two years, followed by live chat, social media platforms and text messaging. It makes sense: as primarily digital consumers establish more buying power, they are also demanding comprehensive digital support. Today, it’s more important than ever for businesses to adapt to a globalized economy and serve their customers quickly, cost-effectively, and above all in their native language.”

The results are revealed today as Unbabel celebrates its 1st Annual Customer Centric Conference 2019, an exclusive 100 person event held in Lisbon for global Customer Experience (CX) experts including brands such as Microsoft, easyJet, Eaze, Google and Concentrix.

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