Tech suppliers aren’t keeping consumers happy, Conduent finds

Nearly half of consumers are dissatisfied with their technology suppliers, according to an analysis by Conduent Inc.

It’s a first in a series of reports from the Florham Park-based company on customer experience across the high-tech, communications and media industries.

The international study took a representative sampling that included 2,400 participants from the United States, and 1,200 each from the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands.

Ten minutes or less is the optimal time period to satisfy customers across the majority of channels, the research shows.

But customers have different experiences depending upon how they receive this help.

On-device help, social media and virtual assistance are three channels that are expected to experience the largest usage increase.

“New technology gives us endless ways for customers to interact with the brand, but most tech brands are offering disjointed and siloed ‘omnichannel-esque’ support today, leading to lower satisfaction,” said Christine Landry, group chief executive of Consumer & Industrials at Conduent. “Our research has identified the need for an enhanced experience across every touch point that matches the quality and experience of the products and services tech brands sell. Conduent’s next-generation customer care enables our clients to connect seamlessly with their customers via the communication channel of their choice.”

Digital channel usage — such as email, website webchat, social media and self-help — has increased 65 percent between 2015 and 2017.

While 76 percent of customers provide personal information to their technology suppliers, 59 percent of customers believe these brands do not know them, an increase of 16 percent from two years ago.

Customers still have concerns about security of their data and how it will be used.

Technology brands need to assure customer data is secure and will be used to tailor communications to better serve them, according to the analysis. Technology brands in Europe will soon be under increased regulation under the General Data Protection Regulation to help ensure that customer data is protected — or face penalties.

While using data more effectively has been a major focus for technology brands to improve the customer experience, the research shows a divide exists between the data coming in and the enhanced experience customers receive.

Eight percent of customers are willing to change suppliers if their data was used in a better way and 14 percent would change suppliers for better service. Putting customer data to good use and demonstrating time and cost savings gives the sector a huge opportunity to improve satisfaction, customer experience and drive loyalty, Conduent said.

“Data, predictive analytics and automation are combining to enable new levels of immediacy, personalization and convenience across channels and can help close the gap in customer experience,” Landry said. “By getting to better know the customer and their preferences, we boost efficiency and improve their experience across all the places they interact with a brand, which increases brand loyalty and ultimately cost savings for the provider.”