Consumers Growing Comfortable With Contacting Customer Service Online (Study)

Maybe they’re frustrated with being put on hold and tortured with elevator music for long stretches of time, but customers are more willing than ever before to put down the phone and contact companies digitally.

That’s a key takeaway from PwC’s new customer care report. The business consulting firm found that 41% of consumers had a positive experience with online chats, though only 4% favored social media when it came to resolving problems. The study’s authors argue that an opportunity exists for companies to improve the experience for customers with issues or grievances by enhancing digital offerings so that they respond more quickly than an operator.

To get its findings, PwC surveyed roughly 1,000 U.S. respondents. Its study hits as entertainment and cable companies such as Comcast have announced plans to push their customer service teams to use social-media platforms as a way of reaching subscribers and dealing with issues they may have.

Despite a growing willingness to contact companies through email or their websites, 81% of consumers still prefer phone calls with live agents over any other means of connecting with customer service teams. Eighty four percent of respondents had a positive experience using the phone, compared with 55% who had a successful resolution to their issues after raising problems via email and 41% who were happy using online chat.

People have grown more comfortable using a combination of digital and traditional avenues to reach customer service teams, with 47% of those surveyed using a hodgepodge approach. Respondents said that traditional channels are better suited to billing issues and questions about various products and services, while digital channels were most often used to checking the status of an account or to handle website issues.

The telecom industry was the most frequently contacted (25%) for customer service inquiries, with technology companies reached out to by 7% of those polled and entertainment companies contacted by 6% of respondents. Telecommunications also had the best reputation for handing issues digitally (34%), PwC found, followed by banking/financial services (30%), retail (22%), technology (20%), broadband (11%), travel (11%) and entertainment (10%).

Overwhelmingly, consumers refuse to pay extra for customer service, with 86% reporting they would not shell out for more satisfactory care. Those customers who were willing to pay to have their problems dealt with were willing to pony up an average of $4.76 per encounter.

More Film

  • CineAsia: India’s PVR Signs Bumper Deal

    CineAsia: India’s PVR Signs Bumper Deal With 4DX

    Maybe they’re frustrated with being put on hold and tortured with elevator music for long stretches of time, but customers are more willing than ever before to put down the phone and contact companies digitally. That’s a key takeaway from PwC’s new customer care report. The business consulting firm found that 41% of consumers had […]

  • Titanic 20th Anniversary

    'Titanic,' 'The Goonies,' 'Field of Dreams,' 'Memento' Added to National Film Registry

    Maybe they’re frustrated with being put on hold and tortured with elevator music for long stretches of time, but customers are more willing than ever before to put down the phone and contact companies digitally. That’s a key takeaway from PwC’s new customer care report. The business consulting firm found that 41% of consumers had […]

  • Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills Pool and

    Showbiz Event Planners Compete for the Glam Slam

    Maybe they’re frustrated with being put on hold and tortured with elevator music for long stretches of time, but customers are more willing than ever before to put down the phone and contact companies digitally. That’s a key takeaway from PwC’s new customer care report. The business consulting firm found that 41% of consumers had […]

  • Weinstein Asian Executive Bey Logan Accused

    Weinstein Asian Executive Bey Logan Accused of Sexual Misconduct

    Maybe they’re frustrated with being put on hold and tortured with elevator music for long stretches of time, but customers are more willing than ever before to put down the phone and contact companies digitally. That’s a key takeaway from PwC’s new customer care report. The business consulting firm found that 41% of consumers had […]

  • 12 of the Craziest 'Star Wars:

    12 of the Craziest 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Fan Theories

    Maybe they’re frustrated with being put on hold and tortured with elevator music for long stretches of time, but customers are more willing than ever before to put down the phone and contact companies digitally. That’s a key takeaway from PwC’s new customer care report. The business consulting firm found that 41% of consumers had […]

  • Laura Dern Red Carpet fashion Moments

    Fashion Flashback: Laura Dern Remembers Her Favorite Frocks

    Maybe they’re frustrated with being put on hold and tortured with elevator music for long stretches of time, but customers are more willing than ever before to put down the phone and contact companies digitally. That’s a key takeaway from PwC’s new customer care report. The business consulting firm found that 41% of consumers had […]

  • Genndy Tartakovsky Animator

    TV Animators Tooned Up for Big Screen Features

    Maybe they’re frustrated with being put on hold and tortured with elevator music for long stretches of time, but customers are more willing than ever before to put down the phone and contact companies digitally. That’s a key takeaway from PwC’s new customer care report. The business consulting firm found that 41% of consumers had […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content