As marketers focus on optimizing their e-commerce presence, the importance of supporting digital customer service capabilities intensifies. Strengthening these features must be at the forefront of brand marketing leaders’ strategies. Failure is not an option: customers are much less likely to be loyal to a brand if customer service does not match their expectations. To ensure comprehensive customer satisfaction, brands must adjust their digital strategies to match their customer preferences.
As an update to last year’s methodology, Gartner benchmarked brands based on their digital customer service strategies. This includes adoption of self-service features, such as FAQ pages and chatbots, versus assisted channels, like live chat and Twitter usage. This year’s 118 brands were then plotted on a two-dimensional grid into one of four distinct quadrants: Leaders, Assisted Channels Oriented, Self-Service Oriented or Laggards.
Leaders (4%) provide a well-balanced customer experience, fulfilling user needs at specific points in the path to purchase and catering to those who prefer using self-service features and those relying on assisted channels. Brands in this category round out their digital customer service strategies with searchable FAQs and comprehensive live chat capabilities such as personalized styling advice. Leader brands are concentrated in the beauty, specialty retail, and activewear sectors.
Assisted Channels Oriented (30%) brands concentrate their efforts in assisted channels, preferring to interact with users over leaving them to their own devices. These brands highlight their live chat capabilities and are vigilant in responding to users on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Many department stores fall under this category.
To read about the remaining categories and see how your specific brand scored, view the interactive here.