Chat. tap, talk: key trends to transform your firm's digital customer experience

Dr Nicola Millard

SINCE 2010, our research into global consumer behaviour has helped senior decision-makers develop successful strategies for digital transformation and customer experience.

Whether it’s contact by phone, email, internet self-service, web chat, social media, chatbot or video, our latest digital customer study reveals what consumers around the world want from the organisations they deal with.

The 2017 research, which we did late last year in partnership with Cisco, explores consumer behaviour across 10 countries. It reveals a major shift in how people want to talk with organisations.

The title of the report, ‘Chat, tap, talk’, reflects the fact that we are embracing more digital, text-based tools – such as email, web chat, and social media.

But these channels sit alongside, rather than replace, the traditional ‘talk’ channels of phone and face-to-face, which still remain popular with consumers.

'Chat, tap, talk: Eight key trends to transform your digital customer experience' identifies some of the challenges your business might be facing, but also highlights the areas to focus on.

Our research shows how organisations need to build customer journeys that satisfy traditional as well as new communication needs, but in a way which allows for interchangeable journeys where consumers can choose their preferred channel depending on where they are, what they are doing, and which device they are using.

Here’s an example of what we’ve found:

:: Digital customers want easy journeys: 56 per cent say convenience is more important than price;

:: The explosion of messaging provides an opportunity to build digital customer relationships: 58 per cent say they get a quicker response with chat than by e-mailing or calling;

:: Big data, AI and voice recognition technology can be used to transform efficiency: 80 per cent are open to using chatbots for quick and simple queries;

:: Phone boosts digital, but service levels need improving: 81 per cent say there should be a phone number on every web-page or app;

:: Social media momentum continues, but needs integrating into omni-channel strategies: 38 per cent say it’s the best way to make contact if the issue is urgent;

:: Video continues to transform customer experience: 62 per cent think you should be able to switch from chat to a voice or video call (with the same agent);

:: Safer transactions will drive revenue growth: 68 per cent say they would have bought more if payments were more secure;

:: Consumers value proactive service powered by big data and AI: 78 per cent like it when organisations notice they have a problem online and contact them directly to help; and

:: The challenge is delivering optimal customer journeys: 81 per cent of want organisations to offer different channels to meet their needs.

The convenience and control that digital channels give customers is changing their behaviour. With each channel offering different ways of interacting with brands it’s vital to understand how and why customers are using them.

Constructing customer journeys that blend both new and old channels seamlessly are becoming vital to reimagining the customer experience for the digital age.

:: To download full report to find out what customers expect from you go to

:: Dr Nicola Millard is head of customer futures and insights at BT







Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access