Email Still Used For Customer Service By Most Firms, But Patterns Are Changing: Study

Email is the top customer service channel, according to CX Champions: How CX Leaders Who Raise Their Game Are Driving Business, a study conducted by Zendesk in partnership with Enterprise Strategy Group.

Of companies polled, 93% ranked as “Champions” offer email, compared with 89% of Starters and 90% of Risers. 

In contrast, 89% of Champions use phone, along with 91% of Risers and 94% of Starters.

But usage patterns are changing. Champion companies are “much more likely to have embraced online help resources, messaging apps, social engagement, online chat, and text channels, among others,” the study notes. 

SMS is used by 81% of Champions, 73% of Risers and 44%% of Starters. Champions offer roughly two more channels than starters.

What constitutes a Champion?

Larger firms are further ahead — 29% of midsize and enterprise businesses are rated as Champions, compared with 22% of small businesses. Yet 47% of the latter companies are at the Start phase, versus 36% of midsize and enterprise businesses.

In general, Champions were 3.3 times more likely to have grown their customer base over the past six months. 

And top executives at Champion companies are 8 times more likely to see customer service as a differentiator.

In the next 12 months, 57% of midsize and enterprise Champions and 50% of small business Champions expect their CX technology spend to increase significantly, but only 9% of midsize and enterprise Starters and 6% of small business Starters say the same.

Meanwhile, 78% of midsize and enterprise businesses and 65% of small firms said their customer-centric capability has increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

For this report, the companies surveyed 1,012 CX managers and leaders in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

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