The Rise of Faceless Customer Service

The Rise of Faceless Customer Service


What retailers can do about it

More UK customers are buying online than any other country in the world. ¹

This means the rise of customers interacting with faceless companies that have little to no human interaction and the need to rely on Twitter for complaints. But for these organisations, customer service is actually more important than ever, as their customer service team is often the only point of contact shoppers have with the retailer.

So when it goes wrong, it goes very wrong.

In fact, our recent research reveals that six in ten customers will stop shopping with a retailer if they get bad service.

The findings come at a challenging time for the retail industry in the UK; high street closures have increased by nearly 17% this year including high profile brands like Debenhams, which recently announced 50 of its stores across the UK would be closing down. ²

While retailers are introducing new schemes to innovate on the shop floor – think John Lewis & Partners ‘after hours’ shopping experience – the research shows that not enough is being done to improve customer service and retailers are missing out as a result.

Our research shows the most common issue for customers is being ‘passed around the houses’ and having to explain their problem multiple times. The majority have had to speak to three different people on average to solve just one query – some have spoken to as many as 12 agents.

Another issue that has come to surface is retailers not being able to join up their internal data, which in turn impacts customer satisfaction. Over half (51%) of consumers said they are less likely to shop with a retailer if they can’t talk to the online customer service team about in-store purchases, or go into a physical store to ask about online orders. 95% also said that they found it frustrating when agents didn’t have any information about their previous calls or emails.

So what are the elements of good customer service?

When asked what they consider the most important elements of good customer service, having queries resolved quickly is the most important factor for retail customers (48%), followed by getting a human response (47%), and having one person being able to answer their query first time (44%).

The customer experience has never been more important – there are so many retail options out there that people can easily vote with their feet or at the click of a mouse and shop somewhere else. It’s vital that staff have the right technology to hand to give customers the service they expect. Cloud communications technology can give agents instant access to the right information, in one platform, and allow them to collaborate with the right experts internally to give customers an experience that delights them – inspiring loyalty during a tough period for the retail sector.

¹ Quoted from research by the UK Cards Association said.


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