1 in 10 British consumers have never had good customer service
Research from Zendesk finds 70% of UK Consumers remember poor service and a third warn others off
Zendesk has unveiled research exploring the impact of customer service on consumers in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France. Speaking exclusively to independent consumers from a variety of ages and demographics, the research sought to understand how customer service impacts long-term consumer buying behaviour.
In particular, it highlighted the importance of delivering memorable customer experiences to develop long-lasting and meaningful relationships and the varying priorities across the region for quality customer service.
“Our research into consumer behaviour in Europe validates our efforts in transforming the way organisations develop meaningful relationships with their customers so they stay with them over the longer term”
“After surveying consumers across the UK, France, and Germany, the data is clear – customers just want their problems solved.” said Prelini Udayan-Chiechi.
“When it comes to common questions, consumers don’t want to get stuck in small talk and hold music, they just want brands to get out of their way. However, when things get more complex, a human touch goes a long way. Brands need to make sure they are striking the right balance between self-service and human kindness, equipping their teams with the right tools to scale the empathy their customer service teams can provide.”
“Recently we launched Sunshine, an all-new cloud platform eclipsing the outdated legacy systems and proprietary technologies of old. Now, organisations can get a 360° understanding of their customers and the relationship they have with a brand — all in one place. Together with Answer Bot, we’re also able to combine powerful self-service with smart deep learning, getting solutions to problems fast.”
In particular, businesses should keep in mind:
– Memories last forever: Whilst an overwhelming number of people have experienced good customer service, 9% of respondents noted that they have never experienced a positive customer service interaction in their life. And those interactions made their mark, with 70% recalling negative customer service interactions from more than a year ago (compared to 73% in France and 81% in Germany); 3% remembered poor customer service experiences from over ten years ago.
– Tell your friends: Whether good or bad, more than 80% spread the word to others on the customer service they’ve received. When receiving positive customer service, 48% recommend products/services with others (in comparison with 40% of respondents from France) and 43% bought more from the same company. However, poor customer service resulted in 50% terminating their relationship with that company completely, with 32% recommending that others avoid them. In comparison with other regions, 48% of respondents from France would terminate a relationship with a brand following a bad customer experience, compared to 56% in Germany.
– Back to Basics: What’s the most important priority for customer service? Solving the problem! And UK consumers agree, with 74% citing that the #1 priority for good customer service is getting issues sorted followed by Germany at 65%. Poor customer service is exacerbated for customers when involving multiple people (62%) or taking too long to resolve the issue (53%). In France, respondents were a little more patient, with 57% more concerned about dealing with multiple people and 46% considering resolution time to be a top priority.
• Change the Channel: Email (80%), Phone (70%), and Live Chat (58%) still lead the way as preferred channels for resolving problems in the UK, in contrast to France and Germany where Phone leads the way. However, an overwhelming 98% have tried a self-service solution, such as a knowledge base or FAQ. In Germany and the UK, Generation-Z are the most likely to experiment and use multiple customer service channels, such as social media or live chat.
• Need for Speed: 53% expect customer service to be faster than it was five years ago — and Millennials and Generation-Z have the highest overall expectations for fast customer service across the region. Respondents from Germany cited response time above all other factors, including issue resolution; 66% reporting raised expectations for service speed, compared with 72% in France. Time is of the essence, as 85% will try an alternate channel to resolve their issue if they don’t get a prompt response. In fact, 44% will wait less than one hour before trying another channel — 7% will wait less than 5 minutes!
This is particularly important for businesses to remember over busy periods when many offer short term discounts and rely on flash sales to lure in customers. During peak seasons, standards of service can become stretched due a lack of preparation to handle the influx of issues, queries and general contact from customers.
Sunshine is an open and flexible customer relationship management (CRM) platform built completely in the public cloud on Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS). Zendesk Sunshine enables businesses to connect and understand all their customer data, wherever it lives, and gives their developers the ability to build and deploy customer apps and services faster. Sunshine is built entirely on open standards, with the security, scalability and reliability of AWS built into its core.
The best customer experiences are built with Zendesk. Our customer service and engagement products are powerful and flexible, and scale to meet the needs of any business. Zendesk serves businesses across hundreds of industries, with more than 125,000 paid customer accounts offering service and support in over 30 languages. Zendesk is headquartered in San Francisco, and operates worldwide with 16 offices in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America.
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Research Methodology: Research was conducted through an online survey amongst 1,527 independent consumers, comprising 507 respondents in the UK, 512 respondents in France, and 508 respondents in Germany. Various questions regarding previous customer service interactions and experiences were asked with responses graded to ascertain specific preferences and opinions.