Zendesk, Inc. (NYSE: ZEN) today released new research and insights from more than 9,000 small and midsize companies, analyzing the gaps between companies’ perceptions of the customer experiences they deliver and the reality. While results indicate differences in small and midsize businesses’ ability to meet the growing expectations of customers, one discovery is consistent: fast-growing companies are more likely to take an omnichannel approach, offering a seamless and connected experience for communicating with customers across multiple channels.
Acknowledging the need to provide support over the same channels customers use to communicate with family and friends, more than two-thirds of customer experience leaders at both small and midsize businesses say they evaluate success based on providing multiple ways to contact customer service. However, less than 35 percent are truly omnichannel, highlighting that many companies are failing to deliver on the customer experiences they know are important. In fact, the midsize companies outpacing their peers in growth are nearly 60 percent more likely to take an omnichannel approach to customer service while growth leaders in the SMB group are 41 percent more likely to be omnichannel.
“Customers don’t think about a company’s size when they’re interacting with support. They expect to be able to reach out on the channel of their choice, and to get their issues resolved efficiently. This expectation applies to all businesses, both large and small,” said Ted Smith, head of market insights at Zendesk. “The recommendations in these reports can help small and midsize businesses understand what their fastest growing and most successful peers are doing to deliver the kind of customer experience every customer wants.”
Another surprising finding: while more than 50 percent of leaders say offering self-service is important, only 15 percent of midsize teams and 9 percent of small businesses let customers find answers themselves, according to leaders at these companies. This means that few midsize businesses and even fewer small businesses utilize self-service capabilities to allow customers to easily address their own questions and save support agent resources for more complex requests.
For both small and midsize companies, Zendesk Benchmark research and survey results also reveal a disconnect in the ability to understand customer data across the business. Many companies are underutilizing apps and integrations to track key customer data even though leveraging customer data from priority areas such as social media, customer surveys, and more would give support teams the insights needed to improve customer engagement. Two-thirds of SMBs aren’t even collecting customer satisfaction scores.
The Zendesk Benchmark is Zendesk’s index of product usage data from 45,000 companies using Zendesk across the globe. This report examines data from more than 9,000 small and midsize companies in the Zendesk Benchmark, as well as findings from surveys of customer service leaders in the US and the UK. It also incorporates insights from the Zendesk Customer Experience Trends Report 2019, the company’s annual look at the top trends in the customer experience space.
The best customer experiences are built with Zendesk. Our customer service and engagement products are powerful and flexible, and scale to meet the needs of any business. Zendesk serves businesses across hundreds of industries, with more than 145,000 paid customer accounts offering service and support in over 30 languages. Zendesk is headquartered in San Francisco, and operates worldwide with 17 offices in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America. Learn more at www.zendesk.com.