SOURCE: KANA Software, Inc.

KANA Software, Inc.

June 07, 2013 04:00 ET

"The Rise of e-Cacia Avenue" UK Businesses Are Seriously Underestimating the Technological Capabilities of Customers According to New Research

The Average UK Adult Has Used 7.4 Different Electronic Communication Channels in the Past Six Months

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Jun 7, 2013) - The role of the phone in communication is waning as consumers embrace the utility of modern digital communication channel methods, according to Omnibus pollingi for KANA.

Rapid consumer adoption of new methods of communication in the past 10 years has left support organisations within some businesses flat-footed. The polling suggests that many consumers across the age spectrum are operating more advanced "contact centers" from their homes than many businesses are today.

Exclusive Omnibus polling for KANA found that:

  • The average UK consumer has used 7.4 digital communication channels in the past six months.
  • Amongst 18-to-24-year-olds, this figure rises to 8.4 methods.
  • The figure is lowest in the 65+ age bracket, yet even here, the average consumer has used 6.2 digital communication channels, while many UK businesses still rely on as few as three channels: email, phone and a website.

The top six consumer communication methods of polling respondents are:

1. Email (used by 90 percent)
2. Mobile phone calls (used by 83 percent)
3. Text messages (used by 79 percent)
4. Websites (used by 75 percent)
5. Fixed-line phone calls (used by 69 percent)
6. Facebook (used by 67 percent)

For a related infographic, visit http://info.kana.com/customer-service/casestudy/cio-infographic.pdf.

"The idea that nine-year-old Facebook is already as pervasive a tool as Bell's 130-year-old invention is extraordinary and says everything about the rapidly-changing shape of consumer interactions," said James Norwood, chief marketing officer for KANA Software. "The multichannel household is beginning to expect multichannel services from business, and those that don't provide them may be penalised."

According to the research, even Twitter, a relatively new platform, has been used by 24 percent of the UK adult population in the past six months.

One of the most significant findings is the extent to which the 65+ age bracket is comfortably embracing new methods of communication. Traditionally perceived to be late adopters, 93 percent use email, 83 percent the fixed-line phone and more than half of those in the 65+ age bracket use Facebook (51 percent) and 11 percent engage in online chat.

The eroding role of the phone, however, is not reflected in the IT priorities of businesses, according to a polling of CIO Magazineii readers for KANA.

Whilst nine in 10 chief information officers see multichannel communications as important, only half (52 percent) see self-service Internet and mobile channels as significant. And 44 percent say their existing technology is not able to deliver a cohesive multichannel strategy. Nearly all (96 percent) CIOs still see saw the phone as a primary engagement method.

"We have seen with the recent report from PleasePress1.com that consumers are unhappy with the way organisations deliver phone-based services," said Norwood. "Rising levels of consumer comfort with text-based services, such as email, texting and social media platforms, underpin this antipathy. Significantly, this is not a 'young person's thing.' Our research revealed that more than half of the population aged 65 and over use Facebook, signaling a significant transformation."

Social media and mobile were seen as important by 51 percent of CIOs and 56 percent of CIOs, respectively.

A recent Ovum reportiii pointed to a fragmented approach to mobile engagement, indicating that whilst many organisations have rolled out rudimentary mobile apps to their customer bases, most of these apps have no underlying integration with existing care infrastructure or data.

"Many of these apps are vanity projects rather that thought-through channels," said Norwood. "Bespoke development is costly, implementation is cumbersome and there often are no proper methods for sharing, interpreting and acting upon data within the enterprise."

Asked in the CIO study whether their costs for customer service are going up or down, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) replied that their costs were going up as customers seek to engage with organisations in different ways and organisations respond in a piecemeal fashion.

About KANA Software
KANA understands the value of great Customer Service experiences. We know every channel through which a customer communicates with -- and about -- your brand. We provide on-premises and cloud solutions for large enterprises and mid-market organizations. By unifying and maintaining context for customer journeys across agent, Web, social and mobile experiences, KANA solutions have reduced handling time, increased resolution rates and improved net promoter scores (NPS) at more than 900 enterprises -- including many of the Fortune 500 and more than 250 government agencies. At KANA, we help create differentiated and personalized customer experiences that count.

KANA is based in Silicon Valley, California and has offices worldwide. For more information visit www.kana.com, phone +1 800-737-8738, and follow KANA on Twitter @KANAsoftware.

KANA is a registered trademark of KANA Software, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

i Omnibus research was conduct by Vision Critical on behalf of KANA. Research was conducted online amongst 2,027 UK consumers between 16 & 17 May 2013.

ii CIO.co.uk polling of of 104 respondents on behalf of KANA. May 2013.

iii Ovum Research "Mobile customer service requires a smart, connected interaction strategy" Sept 19, 2012.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Hamish Thompson
    Twelve Thirty Eight PR for KANA Software, Inc.
    07702 684290
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    Ryan Zuk
    KANA Software, Inc.
    +1 626 275 7625
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