Businesses overwhelmingly prefer email as a channel for communicating with customers, according to The State Of Customer Experience, a study from Mitto and Demand Metric.
Of those polled, 75% of customer support staff and 70% of marketers favor email.
But that doesn’t mean they’re happy — revenue is flat all around, no matter what the channel or maturity level.
The distant second channel for marketers — chosen by 46% is — Instagram. And 40% apiece list SMS, Facebook Messenger and Twitter. Voice is the second choice among support staff, at 54%.
However, only 24% of marketers and 11% of communications staffers plan to adopt email next year. Why the low numbers? Perhaps because email is already part of the mix.
Instead, marketers are moving toward Google Business (34%), Instagram (30%) and Voice (30%). And service staff is eying SMS (32%) and Google Business (32%).
Of these teams, 62% of marketers say email is tops for complete omnichannel implementation, putting it behind Google Business (75%) but ahead of everything else.
Yet only 38% rate email as best for customer support, again placing it behind Google Business (55%), Voice (48%), Instagram (43%) and Twitter (41%).
This is happening as companies experience lingering flatness. For instance, 29% of the firms with a near-complete omnichannel strategy report a revenue decline, 25% say things were flat, 38% that there was a modest increase and 8% that there was a significant jump.
And, 28% of the “mature” firms saw a significant revenue hike, and 40% a modest increase. Still 2%% also suffered a decline.
At the same time, 64% of marketers and 58% of support employees predict that consumers will be more demanding in 2022.
"Customer demands are on the rise at the same time that brands are facing an increased challenge to stand out from the competition," says Andrea Giacomini, CEO of Mitto. "During the holiday season and beyond, companies need to consider how they can best connect with and engage their customers.
Overall, 67% of the respondents have achieved an omnichannel experience strategy, with robust tools and solutions to keep all touchpoints cohesive. The study defines “maturity” as:
Who “owns” or makes final decisions about the customer experience strategy at companies? At 34% of firms, it’s the CEO, followed by the head of marketing (18%) and the head of customer support (18%). Another 9% have no clear ownership.
But there is minimal information sharing—only 36% of marketers and 29% of customer service staff can see all customer conversations across platforms in one location.
Meanwhile, the holidays are approaching Marketers say their biggest challenges are:
The list of hurdles for customer support teams is similar, although slightly less cite product availability.
Mitto and Demand Metric surveyed 619 iprofessionals between June 1-15 2021.