labels: marketing review
Global study reveals customer service remains critical to profitability news
08 May 2007

Mumbai: Is customer service getting better or worse? Despite the conventional wisdom of customer "no-service" as the norm, over 61 per cent of consumers see call centers as doing a better job than three years ago.

An international survey of more than 4,300 consumers found that, despite some continued pockets of frustration, 23 per cent of all consumers found their experience "significantly better," and an additional 38 per cent felt it was "somewhat better" while only 12 per cent thought it was worse.

In addition, the survey revealed that customer service is a critical driver of profitability and satisfaction, with more than 75 per cent of consumers saying they would give more business to a company based on a great contact center experience.

And, 50 per cent of consumers say the last time they stopped doing business with a company was partly or wholly due to a poor customer service experience.

The biggest causes of customer frustration:

In 2003, Genesys created the pioneer study in customer frustration and has followed in each of the past four years. Globally, the major sources of customer frustration are consistent with findings over the past four years:

  • Long hold times - 67 per cent of consumers are frustrated by long hold times, and 88 per cent would prefer to receive a call-back in 10 minutes than to be on hold for that long.
  • Poor automation - 57 per cent of consumers are frustrated by IVRs with too many or incorrect options and 76 per cent of consumers feel that companies are pushing them to use self-service systems instead of talking to live people.
  • Customer Repetition - 52 per cent of consumers are frustrated by having to repeat information they''ve already provided.
"Given the direct impact of contact center performance on customer loyalty, successful companies must take every opportunity to connect with their customers to create a positive experience," said Wes Hayden, president and CEO of Genesys.

Hayden explains, "Customer service is improving, but the expectations of consumers are going up as well. As the world market becomes more competitive, the most successful companies are ones that make the best use of every channel and every interaction. Companies should engage their customers with a well-planned and executed contact center strategy."

Survey respondents indicated that a good way to create a positive experience is to address consumers'' basic frustrations. For example, the survey results indicated that companies can eliminate long hold times by including a call-back option in their IVR systems. Rather than waiting on hold, 74 per cent of customers would like to have the option to ask for a call back when they feel the wait would be too long.

Emerging Trends - proactive contact
The hottest new emerging trends in customer service are the desire for proactive contact and the need for better support for a broader set of communication channels, such as SMS, web chat and e-mail.

When it comes to new channels, 86 per cent of consumers want e-mail communication and more than 45 per cent of consumers would like e-mail to become their primary communication vehicle.

Speed of communication is critical, however, with 21 per cent expecting a one hour response time - up from 6 per cent with that expectation in 2003. An additional 17 per cent of consumers expect an e-mail response within 4 hours, and 47 per cent within 24 hours. In addition, 19 per cent would like web chat (instant messaging) and 17 per cent want SMS text messages.

Surprisingly, over 89 per cent of consumers would like to receive proactive communications from companies, by phone or text, to keep them informed about service delivery and/or other products and services that may be of interest to them. Proactive communications offer a way of creating a positive image with customers. According to the survey, 87 per cent of customers would have a more positive opinion of a supplier after receiving a courtesy call to thank them for their business or to ask about their satisfaction; however, only 43 per cent have received such a call. Substantial regional differences:
While consumers agreed on most core customer service issues, substantial, regional differences are emerging that offer some of the most striking findings from the survey. Europeans are 10 times more likely to want SMS text messages sent to their mobile phones than Americans (21 per cent for Europe versus 2 per cent for the US).

Similarly, 19 per cent of consumers from Asia Pacific and 7 per cent from Japan also want SMS messages sent to them. Meanwhile, more than 28 per cent of U.S. consumers want instant web chat capabilities, compared to 19 per cent in Europe, 18 per cent in APAC and 11 per cent in Japan.

 search domain-b
Legal Policy | Copyright © 1999-2007 The Information Company Private Limited. All rights reserved.  
Global study reveals customer service remains critical to profitability