Temkin Group has released new research, "Consumer Channel and Cross-Channel Benchmark, 2014." The report identifies which channels consumers prefer to use for a wide variety of interactions and also examines the frequency of common cross-channel activities.
A key component of the research examines how consumers would like to complete 11 different interactions with companies. For seven of the activities, using a computer was the most popular channel or tied for the most popular channel. At the high end, 71 percent of consumers want to go online to check the delivery status of a purchase they've made. Two-thirds of consumers would prefer to go online to update their address on an account, purchase a new book, and check the balance on a saving or checking account.
But consumers do not want to do everything online. Less than one-third of consumers want to go online to open a new investment account or investigate a mistake in their monthly wireless bill. When it comes to resolving a technical problem on their computers or investigating a mistake on their cell phone bills, consumers most prefer talking to someone over the phone. And they want to meet in-person for activities such as purchasing a new auto insurance policy, selecting a life-insurance policy, and opening a new investment account.
"Consumers prefer doing familiar tasks online, but still want to connect with a person when they are faced with less frequent, more complex situations," said Bruce Temkin, customer experience transformist and managing partner of Temkin Group.
Here are some additional findings from the research:
- Across every age group, consumers most preferred to go online to update their address, check the balance on their savings or checking accounts, check the delivery status of a purchase, and purchase a book.
- The phone is the preferred channel for more than half of consumers 55 and older who are investigating a mistake on their wireless bill and consumers 65 and older who are trying to resolve a technical issue with their computer.
- Meeting with someone in person is the preferred channel for more than half of consumers 45 and older who want to open a new investment account, consumers 75 and older who want to purchase a new auto insurance policy, and consumers 55 and older who want to select a life insurance policy.
- Forty-three percent of consumers check competitors' prices on their mobile phone when they are in a store.
- iPhone users are the most likely to do all of the cross-channel activities examined in the research.