Reports that businesses are not delivering on their promise of an exceptional—or even a good—customer experience is not new. What is new is that customer demands and expectations have changed due to today’s digital transformation. This means that an inability to support customers using the channel of their choice may wreak havoc on brand reputations. Getting customer experience right is more important than ever, particularly because sharing a bad customer experience has never been easier for consumers with the ubiquity of social media.

In a recent customer experience survey, we found a few statistics that caused me pause. Of the 3,000 consumers we interviewed across the United States and the United Kingdom, 96% of our respondents admitted that they would take some type of action if they’ve had a bad customer experience. This can mean anything from not purchasing again from a particular brand or sharing their experience with friends and family on social media. In addition, 77% of those surveyed also stated that they had a bad customer experience in the last year. The data we collected shows that organizations face a serious uphill battle to keep the customers they have and acquire new ones if they offer less than stellar customer experiences.

Our interviews showed that the biggest challenge contact centers face today is delivering consistent customer experiences across channels. We found that 80% of respondents interact with brands via different channels— from a traditional phone call or email or today’s more progressive methods like social media or web chat.

Of those respondents we interviewed, 39% report varying levels of service depending on the channel. It is also important to note that 2 in 3 of the respondents also consider it bad customer service when staff lacks knowledge or are perceived to be unhelpful. Simply put, organizations must provide their contact center agents the right tools and data to solve customer issues quickly and smartly.

I’ve included an infographic that outlines our findings. If you want to read the full report, download Contact Centers: The Moment of Truth for Your Brand.