Phone Trumps Online Options for Customer Service – Even Amongst Millennials


November 25, 2014

SINGAPORE, November 24, 2014 -- The use of social media and mobile apps for customer service has doubled since 2011, but according to NICE Systems' (NASDAQ: NICE) Global Customer Experience Survey, 88 percent of customers still elect to pick up the phone and call.

"On average, customers use about six different channels to contact companies for various customer service questions, issues, or complaints -- ranging from social media to email to trying to solve the problem themselves on the company website," said Mr. Raghav Sahgal, President, APAC. "The use of multiple channels continues to grow, especially in the areas of social media, direct chat platforms and apps. Yet, the majority of customers still prefer to speak with a real person to resolve their issue quickly."

In South-East Asia, the phone is even more important than it is in the rest of the world. Populations here have more than 100% mobile phone penetration -- more mobile phone subscriptions than people -- but a significantly smaller percentage of internet penetration. "This means Asian companies -- whatever industry they're in -- need to have a very efficient phone-based customer service channel," said Mr. Sahgal.

NICE surveyed consumers between the ages of 18 and 65 to assess their satisfaction and use of various customer service channels and how they influence brand loyalty. Following are key results from the survey:

  • Phone is king – 88 percent choose to speak with a live rep over the phone. Connecting with a customer service representative over the phone is in fact the most used channel, with website self-service following closely behind (83 percent). In addition, no matter what channel they are using, customers like having the option of turning to a live phone rep as their next choice.

  • Social media, live chat, and smartphone app use has doubled since 2011. Seventy-three percent of customers have used multiple contact methods over the past six months to reach a customer service provider. While more customers are turning to emerging channels, they still prefer “live” interactions. For example, sixty-four percent of the people using a smartphone app want it to facilitate connection to a live rep.

  • Emerging channels need more work. Despite the increase in channel use, social media has a 29 percent success rate in resolving customer service issues as compared to 69 percent over the phone. Also, only 1 percent of respondents found social media to be the most satisfying channel, signifying that these modes of customer service still need improvement.

"As overall channel usage increases, it reinforces the need for a seamless and effortless customer experience across all channels," said Sherie Ng, Managing Director SEA, NICE Systems. "It's possible that a year or two from now we'll see consumers using many more channels, particularly with the explosive growth in smartphone and mobile app use across Southeast Asia. Now is the time to get closer to your customers, understand their preferences and personalise interactions across channels."

The Global Customer Experience Survey also underscored the need to make service effortless for customers. Continuity of service across channels is key with customers wanting companies to remember their past three to five transactions. The rewards are huge for companies that can deliver with 96 percent of respondents who expended little effort while resolving a service issue reporting high levels of loyalty.

To learn more about how the multi-channel experience is shaping consumer preferences and expectations, watch this video:

About NICE Systems
NICE Systems (NASDAQ: NICE) is the worldwide leading provider of software solutions that enable organizations to take the next best action in order to improve customer experience and business results, ensure compliance, fight financial crime, and safeguard people and assets. NICE’s solutions empower organizations to capture, analyze, and apply, in real time, insights from both structured and unstructured Big Data. This data comes from multiple sources, including phone calls, mobile apps, emails, chat, social media, video, and transactions. NICE solutions are used by over 25,000 organizations in more than 150 countries, including over 80 of the Fortune 100 companies.

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Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements, including the statements by Mr. Sahgal and Ms. Ng, are based on the current expectations of the management of NICE-Systems Ltd. (the Company) only, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results or performance of the Company to differ materially from those described herein, including but not limited to the impact of the global economic environment on the Company’s customer base (particularly financial services firms) and the resulting uncertainties; changes in technology and market requirements; decline in demand for the Company's products; inability to timely develop and introduce new technologies, products and applications; difficulties or delays in absorbing and integrating acquired operations, products, technologies and personnel; loss of market share; pressure on pricing resulting from competition; and inability to maintain certain marketing and distribution arrangements. For a more detailed description of the risk factors and uncertainties affecting the company, refer to the Company's reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F. The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date of this press release, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise them, except as required by law.