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Here's What Your Customers REALLY Want, Stats Show

It's simpler than you think

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Kindra Cooper

The pressure to deliver a personalized, omnichannel experience in the “era of customer centricity” might be somewhat misplaced. Despite noble intentions, most organizations are failing to deliver the bare minimum - speed, efficiency and friendly agents - our research shows.

And while popular CS literature trumpets the importance of going above and beyond to “delight” the customer and “create an emotional connection,” the truth is most customers just want their problems solved quickly and efficiently by an agent who isn’t audibly gnashing their teeth.

Customer experience

There’s always a disconnect between what an organization thinks its customers want and what its customers actually want. In a recent CCW Market Study on the Customer Experience, we sought to understand the disconnect by asking the customer directly through two in-depth market research studies - one surveying adult consumers and the other polling data from professionals in the contact center, customer support, IT and operations functions of various organizations.

Here are some key findings you can use to refine your CS approach and contact center metrics.

What customers want from contact centers

Here’s the kicker: the average customer is not all that demanding. They don’t expect free handouts or white-glove, red-carpet service (unless they expressly paid for it). They don’t expect to be greeted with a Morton’s steak at the airport or obtain a refund for used tires at a Nordstrom.

Furthermore, only 16 percent of customers expect you to call them by name or engage in small talk about their vacations, pets or hobbies (6 percent).

Top signs of a great customer experience, according to the customer

  1. First contact resolution


2. Friendly agents


3. Quick resolutions


4. Short hold times


5. No aggressive cross-selling or upselling


In fact, mounting demand for online self-service shows that customers actually prefer to solve their problems autonomously instead of resorting to customer support.

Customer experience

What customers don’t want

Top customer pet peeves show that the majority of contact centers can improve the overall customer experience simply by doing their job. For glass-half-full adherents, this represents a low-cost, low-stakes opportunity to trump the competition, but it also means organizations are failing to meet even the most fundamental tenets of successful CX.

Top signs of a poor customer experience, according to the customer

  1. Employee does not seem knowledgeable about the product or service


2. Multiple transfers


3. Unfriendly/dejected employees


4. Inconsistent communication across channels and employees


5. The need to repeat information as they move between agents and channels


Forget competing with oft-cited CS greats like Amazon and Disney; just focus on doing a good job. And yes, customers value personalization and omnichannel support simply for their practicality and convenience, but they don’t need the experience to “feel” particularly personal.”

Customer experience

Shortcomings like the agent not knowing the customer’s name at the start of the call (13%), a lack of service in one’s preferred channel (26%), refusal to modify a stated policy (35%) or limited contact options outside business hours (37%) are far less likely to drive dissatisfaction.

In terms of preferred channels, phone is still the top medium (71%), and email is number two (46%). But channel preference is not an explicit demand - the speed, effort level and quality of the resolution are important to the interaction than whether it took place over Facebook Messenger or Apple Business Chat.

Customer experience

One final takeaway

Simplify, simplify, simplify - for you and your customer. Speaking of contact center buzzwords, what is the easiest way to personalize the customer experience, according to our research? Simply confirm the customer is satisfied BEFORE ending the call. Oh, and 42 percent of customers polled don’t mind receiving support from a chatbot for simple issues such as account balance. When in doubt, ask yourself: what do I want as a customer?

For more in-depth statistics and insights on the customer side and the business side, access the full report CCW Digital Market Study: The Customer Experience.