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Although the phone remains the most used customer service channel by consumers, its appeal appears to be declining, according to recent research from The Northridge Group.

The report was based on data from a survey conducted in 2018 among consumers age 18 and older in the United States.

Some 57% of respondents said they had addressed a customer service issue/inquiry by phone in the past year, the highest share for any channel.

However, consumers' affinity for receiving customer service via phone appears to be waning: 43% of respondents in the 2018 survey said it is their preferred channel, compared with 49% in a 2015 survey.

Consumers of different generations have distinctly different customer service preferences, the researchers found.

For example, some 64% of Millennials say they prefer digital channels (email, social media, etc.) for customer service, whereas only 45% of Boomers prefer digital channels.

Less than half of consumers find any customer service channel easy to use.

The two highest-rated channels for ease of use are phone support (48% of respondents say it is typically easy) and online chat (47%).

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey conducted in 2018 among consumers age 18 and older in the United States.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji