Deep dive in the contact channel preferences of Belgian consumers

Deep dive in the contact channel preferences of Belgian consumers

DataSynergy and The House of Contact Centers (THOCC) have conducted the third edition of a deep dive in the contact channel preferences of the Belgian consumer. In 2016, 2018 and 2020 a comprehensive online survey among a representative sample of 16- to 70-year-olds allowed to assess which channels they retained as their preferred solution, what experiences they had with various channels, whether those were positive or negative, and to determine the underlying causes. Furthermore, in 2020 due attention has been paid to the impact of the Corona crisis on consumer behavior and preferences in relation to communication with organizations and companies.

The shift away from the physical channel tends to be in favor of ‘traditional’ remote channels such as phone calls and websites/forms, and to a lesser extent e-mail, rather than of ‘more modern’ channels such as chat, messaging and social media. Chat is growing steadily, although customer experience with this channel is fluctuating depending on the service provider : in 2018, 25% of respondents indicated that they ‘often’ or ‘sometimes’ had been in contact with a company via chat, in 2020 this percentage went up to 44%. However, 35% of the latter indicated their experience was negative!

The perceived convenience of contact channels to get in touch with service providers is a strong driver of the Customer Effort score of these providers. The more positive the experiences, the better the Customer Effort Score, in particular this means customers have the feeling they need to spend less time and effort to find a solution for their problem via a certain contact channel. If organizations want to positively influence channel preference of certain channels such as chatting, they will have to improve the robustness and reliability of those channels!

Do you want more information about this contact channel barometer? Reach out to us via the contact page.