Why a third of customers would switch after five minutes without a good response 

According to a new study from analytics leader SAS, one-third of UK and Ireland customers would switch providers if they do not obtain a good response in five minutes or less

The research also highlights that three out of four users would switch providers if a competitor offered a speedier service.

The research uncovers new customer-centric demands as well as a slew of rapidly shifting expectations, which have been intensified by the pandemic. Businesses that are unable to provide a quick, high-quality service alongside cost savings will suffer severe consequences.

Businesses must be able to give a fast, seamless, online service whenever the customer needs it to keep up with these rapidly changing customer expectations. Only this way can they win much-coveted customer loyalty.

Let’s explore the research findings to discover how this is possible:

Customers are choosing experience as well as price

Customers are increasingly demanding experiences that excel beyond attractive prices. While two-thirds (64%) of consumers say that competitive prices are very important when choosing a business or service provider, they are now rivalled by other factors such as convenience (59%) and speed of service (51%). 

While customers are placing a high value on speed and convenience, they are not prepared to sacrifice quality of service.  More than half (56%) only want experiences to be faster if this also guarantees no mistakes are made or a better service is delivered. Achieving speed and quality requires hyper-efficiency from organisations – a quality only achievable through technology capable of intelligent decision-making.

Improved efficiency can inspire better customer experiences

As the cost of living soars, organisations nevertheless have the ability to foster trust from consumers by providing rapid, high-quality services made possible through technology.

Business leaders and decision-makers agreed improvements in workforce productivity (38%), employee satisfaction (34%), and costs (34%), were seen during the pandemic due to hyperautomation (the simultaneous use of digital operating systems, workflow, robotic process automation, and artificial intelligence – typically via the cloud – to deliver high value autonomous processes through intelligent decisions). This enables a faster, quality service where it’s also possible to pass cost savings on to customers.

The need for hyperautomation is clear considering the current impact of simple, linear automation on customers. Many express little trust in using automated services, regardless of sector. Government fared worst, with just 34% expressing any significant level of trust in automated government technologies.

Customers aren’t comfortable with today’s unintelligent tech

Customers shared that they are not yet comfortable with today’s digital-only experiences. Just 13% of respondents would want to use digital-only to interact with customer services. 

Automated tech which lacks intelligence can’t rival human interaction, respondents indicated, with three-quarters (74%) expressing they are frustrated when they realise they are communicating with a robot. Nearly nine in 10 (88%) said that speaking to a human is an essential part of the customer service experience, with 64% of these mentioning this is because they feel more understood when speaking to a human.

The results show that businesses need to make consumers feel like they are being understood by delivering quality experiences and outcomes quickly and efficiently. The current views reflect the fact than online services primarily consist of basic robotic process automation and unintelligent chatbots, rather than the fast, intelligent online experience that is possible with hyperautomation. In fact, less than a quarter (24%) of organisations have currently implemented hyperautomation.

Customers have high expectations for automation 

Automation is recognised as key to setting a new standard in customer experience. It is valued by 91% of the C-suite, who are looking to technologies that can automate repetitive processes. 

They want this for employees, for customers, and for regulators. Fortunately, the vast majority of senior decision makers in businesses across the UK and Ireland believe that hyperautomation will be important in the next 12 months, and two-thirds have either implemented it already or plan to in the future.

Customers are willing to accept hyperautomated services – and even have positive expectations. Half of consumers expect an automated service to provide speed and convenience, while a third expect it to show understanding of the issues and specific services relating to their circumstances. Half of respondents say that they would use a fully automated customer service if they were satisfied that their enquiry could be adequately resolved. 

Improve efficiencies and offer great customer experiences

Organisations now have the opportunity to achieve many business goals at once, boosting efficiencies and lowering costs while also providing a superior customer experience to that of their competitors. With hyperautomation solutions that are simple to use on low code/ no code platforms, and are delivered via the cloud, they can achieve the best of both worlds.

About the Author

David Shannon is Head of Hyperautomation at SAS UK & Ireland. SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 70,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.