You know as well as we do, one of the key indicators of business performance is… you guessed it… customer service. We recently came across this article on CNBC, which discusses customer service woes – aptly titled ‘These start-ups let you skip customer service woes’. Nothing wrong with that on first sight, but it immediately got our full attention. Just look at the title itself; outsourcing customer support so that you don’t have to deal with certain issues, and then labeling it as misery. An increasing number of companies is offering to take away the hassle of bill negotiations and other customer service problems.
This proves there is still a lot to gain for most organisations. After all, a happy customer does not require a third party to take care of his frustrations. But we in fact should ask ourselves what has changed in the past few years? We discussed this study from 2012 (in Dutch), which was held again in 2014. So let’s have a look at some core conclusions:
- More consumers think businesses are paying less attention to providing good customer service; from 32% to 38%.
- Three out of four (74%) consumers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of
positive customer service experiences, which is similar to 2012 (75%).
- Consumers tell more people about their bad customer service experiences (21 people on average) than their good experiences (8 people).
- Fewer people use social media to seek a response from a company to help them with a service issue – 40% vs. 50% in 2012.
- On average, consumers are willing to wait a maximum of 13 minutes on hold when they contact a customer service center by telephone (unchanged).
The 1st point is worrying, and it implies there indeed is still a lot to gain when it comes to customer service. The 2nd emphasizes the need for good customer service. The 3rd point is no surprise, it’s easier to talk about negative experiences. The 4th, however, is a bit more surprising; with social media on the rise (penetration rates increased from 50% to 60% of the internet users between 2012 and 2014, varying per region) you would expect that more consumers use these channels they know well and use actively. Lastly, the 5th point proves that ‘traditional’ customer service is here to stay.
Therefore we still see a future where digital communication and traditional telephony go hand in hand, in order to provide the best possible service and experience for customers. In this article we go into this more detailed. If you want to dive in to all the data and results: here you’ll find the full study report of 2012, and here the 2014 version.
Here at TeleForwarding, we believe that good customer service boils down to a melting pot of strengths that companies often exhibit well. Some of these strengths include: consistency, reliability, trustworthiness, accessibility, communication and empathy. What do you think?