Brits expect the highest customer service levels possible but modern businesses are failing
In this day and age, we’re fortunate to have so many options available to us in all aspects of life. With the development in technology ever improving, we now have multichannel of customer service ranging from email, phone, in store service, online chat and even social media. Customer service is available pretty much anywhere and everywhere.
Globally, 67% of customers have admitted to using multiple platforms before deciding on a product to purchase, with 64% stating they expect real time assistance regardless of what channel they choose. Shockingly, a whopping 78% of shoppers think that a company’s reputation for customer service is important, especially when they’re choosing to buy from a particular brand.
Considering those figures, it’s may come as no shock that 37% say that they expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative, regardless of which channel they contact them through. Though this may seem near impossible, you can understand the frustration people face in explaining the same story to five different operators all because you get passed around on the phone lines. Nearly half expect to be able to return goods or purchases, no matter what channel they bought them through, to any channel. So, for example, a customer who buys a product online expects to be able to return an item in store (this isn’t possible due to stock reasons). Despite all those expectations, a mere seven per cent are extremely satisfied with the multi channel customer service experience offered to them by today’s brands and 87 per cent firmly believe that brands need to work much harder on improving their customer service, hoping one day to create a seamless customer experience.
Keeping the UK customer satisfied
A large number of UK customers feel that brands pay more attention to increasing their sales across the channels rather than providing an integrated customer service experience, compared to the 67 per cent in Germany and 65 per cent in France who believe the same. This reveals a clear gap in the relationship between UK brands and their consumers, specifically in the distance that customers feel in their level of service. For those brands that do get it right, customers are likely to reward them with loyalty, something that’s seemingly difficult to hold in modern business. For brands that make their customer service as simple as possible, and who resolves problems with minimal hassle, 82 per cent of shoppers say that they would happily use the brand or company again, while 62 per cent state that they would recommend the brand or company to friends and family.
Not surprisingly but speed of response and resolution to complaints and queries also rates high on the global agenda with nearly all customers ranking those two factors in particular as the ‘most important aspects of customer service’, closely followed by having a friendly representative who deals with your query. Yet, in UK just one in three shoppers rated speed of response and resolution as “good” or “excellent”, which is astonishingly the lowest of all countries surveyed.
Age with an “attitude”
The research revealed that perseverance isn’t lacking amongst shoppers and it’s something that can vary by age. Nearly half say they will try any channel that’s available to them and are willing to wait as long as it takes to get their query answered. In terms of age, the older the consumer, the seemingly more patient they are. Of those aged 18-24, only 41 per cent say they are more likely to be persistent in enquiries compared to 48 per cent of 55 – 64 year olds.
Patience is a virtue; have it
When it comes to complaining, the research revealed that globally shoppers are divided into three distinct categories: 23 per cent are ‘less’ tolerant of problems with products / services, 60 per cent have an ‘average’ level of tolerance and 17 per cent are apparently ‘more’ tolerant in their bid to complain.
The Japanese have been revealed as the most tolerant nation, with only a staggering eight per cent of multichannel shoppers falling into the ‘patient’ category while Brazilian shoppers are the most ‘impatient’, with every two in five multichannel consumers falling into the category.
Talking is still good
Receiving poor customer service across channels globally is leading consumers to use phone support as the fail-safe communication method. As the phone has a perception of being the quickest response method, 54 per cent of consumers in the UK still use it as their first contact for support, though this could also be contributed by older consumers being used to using this form of contact.
71 per cent of people will revert to using their phone if an email fails to resolve their issue, as they feel it’s the best alternative option. When an email is unanswered, 71 per cent will then phone. When social media is unanswered, 55 per cent will then phone and if the phone is unanswered, 54 per cent will try to call again.
So what do you think of the multichannel platforms? What’s the best to use? Let us know on our Facebook page!