Consumers say service has declined; customer services people say it hasn't!by
28th May 2010
A hefty four out of five consumers believe that customer service standards have deteriorated over the last year, while just over three out of five customer service staff agree.
A survey among 1,616 customers and 600 staff in large UK companies undertaken by CRM software provider Convergys indicated that 51% of respondents have had a bad customer care experience recently, leading 49% of them to take their business elsewhere - up from 44% last year.
But two thirds of people, up from 63% last year, were now prepared to complain if they did not receive the service that they expected in order to try and force a resolution. A massive 85% of respondents of all age groups who had a negative experience said that told their friends and colleagues about it via face-to-face chats, email, text messages or social media.
Jim Boyce, president of the vendor's global sales and services unit, said: "Today's consumer expectations are clear. They expect good value for their money and timely acknowledgement and resolution of their issues by knowledgeable employees. It is more apparent than ever that consumers are willing to take their business elsewhere when their needs are not met."
The silver lining, however, was that a "meaningful" number who stopped buying from a company after having had a bad experience would do business with it again if an effort were made to win them back, he added.
As to what customers expected from their customer service experience, the top priority was addressing their needs on first contact, with 65% selecting this option most frequently, up from 61% in 2008.
Second on the list was good value for money (64%), but only 5% of respondents defined the term in terms of paying the lowest price, rating reliable service more highly (30%). Their third priority was having access to knowledgeable staff (61%), while six out of ten thought it important to be treated like a valued customer, down from 62% last year.
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