Data tells a story and sometimes it’s a story with an unexpected plot twist. Such is the case with online customer service data we have just published in my report called “Understanding Customer Service Satisfaction To Inform Your 2012 eBusiness Strategy.”

Online customer service channel usage has shifted dramatically from two years ago. There are also significant differences in satisfaction between channels, particularly among different generations.

“Understanding Customer Service Satisfaction To Inform Your 2012 eBusiness Strategy” challenges some long-held assumptions about online customer service and customer behavior including:

  • Not everyone prefers the telephone. I have been writing for some time that call deflection is win-win when it gives other options to consumers who prefer support channels other than the telephone. This is echoed in our data that shows Generations Z and X have higher satisfaction chatting with a live agent rather than speaking on the telephone with a live agent.
  •  Social support is not just for younger consumers. While community support and Twitter are most widely adopted among younger consumers, don't assume social support is the domain of younger consumers: online community support is also used by 30% of consumers between the ages of 32 to 45 and 20% of online consumers between the ages of 46 to 55. 
  • Don’t underestimate the high demand of the senior segment.While we may stereotypically associate impatience with youthful generations, there is a higher likelihood of impatience among Older Boomers and Seniors when it comes to wanting quick answers online and the likelihood to abandon if a website fails to deliver.  

I hope you find this report helpful and, as always, look forward to your comments.