Customer self service options from retailers, is expected by the majority of British consumers today, new research has revealed. A survey of around 270 UK consumers found that this held true for both post- and pre-sales. With nearly a third of consumers (27%) saying they prefer to ask pre-sales questions over the telephone, opposed to .

It also discovered that post-sale, 35% of respondents said they would like to be able to call someone to make a complaint whereas nearly half (48%) said they would go for the self-service option in this case as well.

The survey by Digital Marketer Steven Van Belleghem says that customer self service offers the unique advantage of round-the-clock availability, where the consumer picks their own time and place and can solve their question(s) at their own pace. The speed and flexibility of the concept are huge advantages for customers, whereas the boost in efficiency is obviously a benefit asset to a company.

The survey also highlighted that consumers have exceptionlly high expectations of service with 95% claiming it was important to be helped quickly and 88% want the transaction to be completed on the first contact. Furthermore, 89% said they want a transparent overview of the next steps in a purchase or complaint procedure.

Consumers are becoming increasingly demanding and due to social media, word about good and bad service experiences gets around quickly. Reports of positive experiences raise the spotlight on less successful companies. Society overall is becoming faster and faster and customer expectations reflect this trend.”

The study also examined consumers’ willingness to share personal information with brands and found that they are willing to share data as long as they get a benefit in return. The figures showCustomer  48% would like to receive personalised offers, 43% would like to receive bespoke promotions and 33% are interested in personalised advertising.

Ovum analyst Mark Little recently wrote that Internet players and data collectors of every type are at risk of taking the consumer’s personal data, their ‘little data’, for granted, and turning the Big Data value system into a battleground.

Customer Self Service