Brands are falling short of consumer expectation when it comes to chat

Consumers increasingly want to use chat for customer service – but companies are failing to meet their changing expectations. Nearly three quarters (72%) of consumers say a good chat experience will make them more loyal – however only 15% say they are always happy with the service they receive. These are amongst the headline findings of the Eptica 2017 UK Chat Study.

  • 65% of consumers say they are happier using chat now compared to five years ago, but 69% complain of having to wait in queues, agents that don’t have access to the right information (60%) and being forced to repeat themselves multiple times (54%). Just 16% feel they get a personalised experience.
  • Consumers are open to using chatbots, but only in certain circumstances. Nearly a third (29%) are happy to get basic answers from chatbots, but 77% want to chat with a human when they have more complex queries.
  • Chat is coming of age, with 68% of people saying they’d use it instead of the telephone, email or social media, due to its real-time, conversational nature. Yet while nearly half (49%) of companies claimed to offer chat, just 22% had it working when tested.

When it comes to chat, consumer expectations are changing fast. They value its real-time nature, and want to use it as a key part of multichannel conversations with brands. However, our study shows that companies have not kept up – they still seem to see it as a novelty, rather than the must-have that consumers demand.

Olivier Njamfa, CEO and founder, Eptica