FORRESTER: Retailers Are Investing In The Wrong Form Of Customer Service

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Photo: Flickr / Walmart Stores

Consumers would rather get customer service in-person or over the phone than online, according to a report by Forrester Research. More than half of brick-and-mortar consumers with customer service issues go to a physical store to solve the problem, while another 30 per cent pick up the phone and call, according to the report.

Even online customers are just as likely to pick up the phone or go to a store as use internet customer service such as emailing or instant-messaging.

They did this because going to a store or making a phone call is more convenient than using online methods, according to Forrester:

“For individuals looking for support, convenience is a key factor. 30-five per cent of consumers who turned to an offline channel to resolve their problem did so because they thought it was the fastest way,” the report says.

This could be a message to online retailers to stop investing so heavily in internet customer service. From the looks of this report, you’re better off ramping up phone and in-store customer service.

Here’s a chart showing where customers in every channel seek out customer service. Note that brick-and-mortar shoppers still make up 87 per cent of customers:

customer service

Photo: Forrester Research

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