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Angel Survey Reveals Shift in Customer Service Preferences

VIENNA, VA--(Marketwire - Nov 14, 2012) - Angel, a leading provider of cloud-based Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions and division of MicroStrategy® Incorporated (NASDAQ: MSTR), today released the findings from a survey of over 650 attendees at the 2012 Dreamforce event in San Francisco. The survey results show an evolution of customer service preferences, with more customers expecting businesses to better anticipate customer needs and provide more personalized and on-demand customer service across any channel and device.

The results demonstrated a significant shift to web and mobile technologies as the preferred ways to connect with customer service. From these results, there is an opportunity for companies to better anticipate the change of customer preferences and begin providing multichannel customer support to quickly resolve problems, improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction.

  • Shift in platforms - While 51 percent of the respondents named landline telephone customer support as the most preferred customer service channel five years ago, 34 percent called out email as their top resource today, followed by landline telephone (19 percent) and mobile devices (16 percent).

  • Mobile customer support quickly gaining - In the next five years, 24 percent expect mobile devices to be the leading customer service channel while 41 percent confirmed they have downloaded a mobile application to better connect to customer service.

  • Online self-service tools are critical - Currently, 63 percent turn to the company website as their first channel of choice to resolve an issue before calling customer service.

  • Customer service is an ongoing experience - Twenty-six percent said they are likely to tell their friends about their experience, 21 percent said they would ask for the same representative next time and 14 percent said they would share their experience online.

"There is a growing gap between customer expectations and customer care reality," said Dave Rennyson, President, Angel. "Poor or unavailable customer service leads to a terrible customer experience and a loss of brand equity. Businesses need to better understand and anticipate how the customer base interacts with the brand on multiple channels, leverage cloud-based platforms to enable business flexibility and provide customers with the tools and resources to help improve loyalty."

Additional survey findings revealed what companies customers spend the most time with as well as how customers would like to interact with customer service:

  • Banking and retail organizations spend the most time with their customers - These are the leading industries customers said they spend the most time on a customer service issue, with 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

  • Convenience is important - Forty-seven percent said they usually connect with customer service from work and 33 percent reach out while at home.

  • On-demand support expectations are significant - Eighteen percent said instant messaging is their first channel of choice to resolve an issue, while five percent said they turn to social networks to resolve customer service problems.

Following these results, some key customer care recommendations include:

  • Provide multichannel support - Customers are turning to multiple channels to resolve their customer service issues, including email, mobile devices, instant message and text messages. Offering cloud-based customer service support for as many channels as possible can ensure issues are immediately resolved.

  • Anticipate customer needs - With 18 percent of respondents naming mind-reading as the second most preferred way to connect with customer service in five years, there is an opportunity for businesses to leverage analytics to identify past customer trends, better allocate customer service resources and incorporate the features to ensure each customer has a positive experience.

  • Personalize the experience - Identify how and where the customer base usually interacts with the business throughout the entire lifecycle and provide the support and tools that enable customers to immediately resolve their unique problems as well as quickly connect with the organization.

For more information on Angel and the results from this survey, please visit: http://www.angel.com/.

About Angel
Angel is a leading provider of cloud-based Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions for Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and Contact Centers. These solutions enable mid-market and enterprise organizations to quickly deploy voice, SMS, chat, mobile, and Business Intelligence (BI) applications that all put the Customer Experience (CX) First. Angel's solutions are built on an on-demand, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform and require no investment in hardware, software, or human resources. More than 1,000 customers worldwide turn to Angel's CEM solutions to delight their customers and their bottom line. www.Angel.com