Customer Service Satisfaction Drops and Consumers Leave

September 8th, 2011
Steven Howard

Customer retention affected by poor customer service.

Consumers are not getting what they want in terms of customer service. Those are the clear findings of the latest Accenture Global Consumer Survey, which has been conducted annually for the past six years.

The study researched over 5,800 people in 17 countries and asked about their attitudes and behaviors in purchasing from 10 major industries.

Satisfaction with customer service declined in all 11 characteristics measured in this survey, compared to the previous year's results. Strikingly, less than one in every six consumers is "extremely satisfied" in any of the eleven:

  • Having access to environmentally friendly options.
  • Having customer service available at convenient times.
  • Being able to access customer service using multiple channels.
  • The amount of time it takes to read and understand information the company sends to me.
  • Being able to resolve questions/issues on my own without speaking to a service agent.
  • The amount of time it takes to completely resolve my issues or problem.
  • The amount of time I have to wait to be served.
  • Having employees who are polite and friendly.
  • Having employees who are knowledgeable and well informed.
  • Having customer service people who can deal with my issue without having to refer  me to another person.
  • Having customer service people who know my history based on information I have previously provided, so I don't have to repeat myself each time I talk to someone.

The thing that kills me about these results is that the 11 characteristics above are the basics of customer service. And they are easy to deliver upon. Download my free 7 C's of Customer Retention Checklist for practical steps for improving on all of these areas and improving customer loyalty.

No wonder 64% of consumers changed at least one of their service providers during the course of the previous year due to poor customer service. And no wonder, as we highlighted in our most recent Steven Howard Marketing Blog, that only 25% of consumers say they trust the companies with which they do business. If you cannot deliver adequate customer service on a consistent basis, you are not going to earn the trust of your customers.

Here's the other major outcome of this study:  over half (54%) of global consumers are not willing to compromise on levels of customer service, product options, or product quality in exchange for lower prices.

So if you think you can get away with having low prices and poor customer service, you are dead wrong. This strategy may work for awhile, but it is certainly no way to keep good customers and build a sustainable business.

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