One major problem is that many consumers don’t trust brands like they used to. Hubspot research shows that 81% trust the advice of friends and families over advice from businesses, 65% don’t trust ads, and 71% don’t trust sponsored social media.
Building trust is the key to driving loyalty, and customer service is a great place to start. After having a good customer experience, 90% of consumers said they were more likely to purchase more, and 93% said they were more likely to become repeat customers.
Let’s take a look at some key customer service stats and find out how technology can help us create customer service strategies that deliver long-term loyalty.
1. 78% of consumers will use a company again after an error if its customer service is excellent
Mistakes happen, but they needn’t be the end of the road. Correcting mistakes and leaving customers with a positive experience means they’ll be more likely to return and order again. However, only one in five consumers will forgive a mistake if the customer service is poor.
Delivering a quality customer experience comes down to good communication and excellent data handling to ensure you can pick up the issue and resolve it with minimal input from your buyer. Your customer service solution will need omnichannel messaging components and a CDP, at the very least, combined with inter-departmental communication elements and the ability to find information quickly. With the right solution, righting customer service mistakes is relatively simple.
2. Over two-fifths (42%) of customer enquiries are ignored or left unanswered, with just 13% answered in full and in a timely way
Consumers want answers at a time that suits them. 90% of consumers rate an ‘immediate’ response as important or very important when they have a customer service question (60% of customers define ‘immediate’ as 10 minutes or less). Live chat lets you deliver instant responses to customer questions when they need them. If that’s during the checkout process, for example, it could be the difference between a sale and an abandoned cart. Our research found that only 36% of leading UK retail brands offer live chat for customer service. It pays to keep the lines of communication open to ensure your team can react quickly to customer questions.
3. Companies with omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers on average, compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies
Being where your customers are is more important than ever. With so many different options available, consumers spend time across various social and messaging apps. That’s why an omnichannel customer service strategy across multiple conversational channels is the key to great service. In addition, each additional channel added to a brand’s messaging mix results in, on average, 4.3x more purchases per user and a 2.8x increase in the likelihood of buying. Yet another reason to go omnichannel.
4. Only 4% of the top 25 retailers in the UK offer WhatsApp as a customer service channel
Given its versatility as a retail customer service channel, it’s surprising that only 4% of our surveyed retailers use WhatsApp Business. With 2 billion active users, its ability to deliver real-time customer service is unmatched among conversational channels. Brands can share rich media files, images, audio, video and documents and send links and payment requests in-app for an end-to-end retail experience.
5. 70% of customers say service agents’ awareness of sales interactions is fundamental to keeping their business
Getting the customer to a satisfactory resolution as quickly and in as few interactions as possible is the ultimate aim of good customer service. In a global Microsoft survey, a third of respondents said the most important aspect of good service was resolving their issue in a single interaction, while 21% said that not having to repeat themselves was the most important element. A Customer Data Platform, or CDP, lets you record customer data, interactions and preferences to help your team resolve customer issues more quickly.
6. 58% of consumers want brands to follow up with them in a personalised way post-purchase
Personalisation is a hot topic, and doing it right requires the right tools to identify customers to deliver relevant messaging. Just knowing their name doesn’t cut it anymore. In fact, 76% of consumers get frustrated when they don’t receive personalised experiences from brands. Providing quality, personalised aftercare can improve brand perception and drive loyalty, and your CDP can help you to record transactions and ensure you’re talking to the right customer about the right product in post-purchase interactions.
7. Customer service agent turnover rates are consistently between 30% and 45% globally. The average tenure for entry-level agents is around a year
Staff retention is an ongoing concern for many businesses, but customer service is a particularly high-turnover discipline. Training new staff is a time-sap and distracts line management from the job they were hired to do, providing brilliant customer service. internal knowledge base chatbots can help train and retain staff by putting everything they need to do their jobs at their fingertips. Combined with a CDP to help resolve issues, customer service can be about providing faultless service rather than grappling with the basics. Equally, chatbots can help elsewhere. Returns and WISMO (Where IS My Order) chatbots, for example, can help relieve the strain on customer service teams by allowing consumers to self-serve.
8. Retail spending via chatbots will reach $142 billion by 2024
Source: Juniper Research
And talking of chatbots, this Juniper Research prediction represents a growth rate of over 400% in retail expenditure from 2019, with chatbots set to drive an explosion in self-service retail. PSFK data suggests that 74% of customers prefer chatbots because they can provide instant answers, and companies that use them in retail are viewed as efficient (47%), innovative (40%), and helpful (36%). Simple, scripted chatbots can be set up easily using self-serve interfaces, whereas more complex AI chatbots can learn from interactions and improve their efficacy autonomously over time. You can find out more about the impact of chatbots by downloading our guide.
9. None of the top 25 UK retail brands offer a voicebot for customer service
Catering for the 69% of people that prefer to use the phone for customer service is important, but doing that out of hours can prove costly for retailers who aspire to 24/7 customer service. A voicebot bridges the gap between automation and the human touch these consumers crave, and with that human touch comes the ability to deliver round-the-clock service and customer query triage to divert calls directly to human agents as required.
10. Just 2 of the top 25 UK retail brands (8%) offer 24-hour customer service
In an era where customers demand near-immediate answers to their queries, it’s perhaps surprising that only two of our 25 surveyed UK retail brands offered 24-hour customer service. We’ve already mentioned chatbots, and voicebots for customer service, but their use to provide round-the-clock customer care reduces staff fatigue and overheads. If UK retailers are concerned about the level of expertise needed to administer chatbots, for example, they needn’t be. Low-code/no-code solutions are available for teams who lack extensive technical support.