Last year, just over 50 percent of American consumers said they felt underappreciated by the companies they do business with. This year unfortunately, that number is nearly 60 percent—and that underappreciation is leading to lost business.
According to the 2016 Consumer Experience Index from native interaction management firm Aspect, half of U.S. consumers moved from at least one company in the past year because of a poor service experience. While waiting a long time continues to top the list of things customers dislike about customer service, frustrations like the length of time it takes to get an issue resolved and having to repeat their issue to several people, increased noticeably from last year’s survey.
General retail, the industry still most susceptible to bad service turning into lost business, was the only tracked industry which saw a decrease in customer attrition from the 2015 survey. Travel, Telecom/Cable and Big Box Retail saw small to sizable increases in lost business while the Financial industry saw the number of customers who left banking institutions nearly double because of unacceptable service.
“The customer dissatisfaction revealed in our 2015 consumer survey should have been a wakeup call to any business-to-consumer company delivering a substandard customer experience. So the fact that consumers today say they are even more inclined to leave a brand because of bad service is very alarming,” said Joe Gagnon, Aspect’s chief customer strategy officer, in a news release. “For some time we’ve been talking about the growing consumer desire for self-service and digital-first interaction with brands. Now 71 percent of consumers want the ability to solve most customer service issues by themselves. What’s more, 65 percent of respondents said that they feel good about both the brand and themselves when they can resolve issues on their own. This continues to be a huge opportunity for companies looking to quickly and easily improve the customer experience and keep the customers they work so hard to acquire.”
If a company could get it right, 49 percent of consumers in the survey said that they would rather conduct all their customer service interactions via texting/messaging. And nearly 40 percent of them said texting is a more effective communication option for them versus talking to a company that they are interacting with. However, while providing self-service options like interactive text or intelligent assistance on Facebook Messenger addresses these consumer demands, an overwhelming majority (86 percent) said that any automated interaction should always have an option to talk to a live person.
This dramatically underscores the need for brands to deliver omnichannel customer service where connected, contextual experiences enable customers to pick up where they left off on any channel without having to repeat themselves. 73% of consumers said it was very important, a 5-point increase from 2015.
Source: Business Wire; edited by Richard Carufel