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Kiwis abandon old-school support for mobile help

21 Sep 2012

New Zealanders are increasingly likely to favour mobile alternatives over traditional customer services channels according to latest findings from Avaya.

The global provider of business communications and collaboration systems says Kiwis prefer smartphone apps, social media and websites over previous customer service offerings such as service centres.

Newly published Avaya APAC Customer Experience Index shows the majority (62%) of New Zealand consumers prefer to resolve their queries on a company’s website before contacting a customer service centre, with the trend significantly higher among Gen Y consumers at 78%.

According to the research, Kiwis value customer service highly, with 41% of consumers indicating the would pay more money to a company which always provides excellent customer service.

“Customer service has always been high on the agenda of New Zealand consumers, with the standard of customer service levels often cited as the reason for business popularity – or decline – across numerous industries, most recently retail," says Tim Gentry, MD ANZ, Avaya.

"Our research shows that New Zealand consumers are willing to pay more for better customer service, and are comfortable with the technology makes that customer service ubiquitous.

"As such, web-based service offerings, including live chat, and smartphone apps linked to live agents, will become increasingly important tools in the battle to win long-term customer loyalty in New Zealand.

"Voice remains the number one priority for more complex queries, so it’s imperative that local customer service organisations prepare themselves accordingly.”

Avaya says web chat usage has also increased among Kiwis backing the perception consumers are looking for answers on the web first.

The proportion of New Zealand consumers believing they will be using web chat more often in the next few years has increased 11% this year as a consequence.

Similarly, the use of customer service apps on smartphones and other portable devices re-enforces the suggestion that mobility should be a key focus for customer service professionals.

Do you prefer traditional customer service channels or mobile alternatives? Tell us your thoughts below.