Survey: Majority of Consumers Prefer Transactional Relationships

A new survey conducted by virtual agent service provider IntelliResponse has found that while most consumer-facing companies tout goals around surprising and delighting customers, consumers prefer an efficient customer service experience as opposed to a personalized one.

When one thousand U.S. online consumers were asked what type of relationship they want from the companies they buy from, 59 percent of respondents said they would like a transactional relationship where they receive efficient service and only 24 percent characterized their relationship as a friendship, where they receive personalized service.

The survey also uncovered that 74 percent of consumers believe they should be able to get the same answers from a company’s Web site that they can get from speaking to one of the company’s call center workers. This is largely due to the expanding communication landscape, which now includes online portals, social media and mobile devices. It has become increasingly important that consumers are able to find answers to their customer service questions online, especially given that 68 percent of survey respondents said a company’s Web site is the first place they go when looking for information regarding a product or service.

Smartphone adoption among adults age 18 to 24 is 75 percent and 78 percent among adults age 25 to 34, according to Nielsen.  For millennial consumers, efficiency now means mobility – consumers want efficient service on the go without having to call a contact center. According to the IntelliResponse survey, 61 percent of respondents age 18-24 and 60 percent of respondents age 25-34 said they would rather use a mobile app for a customer service question than call a contact center to speak to a live representative.

“Consumers want the ability to find the answers to their customer service questions, at the time and place of their choosing,” said David Lloyd, CEO of IntelliResponse, in a statement. “Companies need to empower their customers with self-service channels that can instantly deliver the single, right answer to service questions and ultimately provide the efficient experience consumers are looking for.”

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Posted November 10, 2014