77% only contact customer service if there is no other way to get answers
46% use multiple channels at the same time to receive answers more quickly
Nearly half of respondents assume they have to be confrontational when they reach out to a company by phone
Breda, 29th of November - In today's 24/7 world, consumers are used to instant answers. With phones in their hands, every conceivable piece of information is at their fingertips. So good customer service is becoming increasingly important, according to research by CM.com, market leader in conversational interfaces, that asked over 7,000 customers worldwide about their experiences with customer service. It shows that all conversations between companies and customers can break the relationship. Whether it is a very small detail or a major problem, not acting properly as a representative can lead to customer loss.
Interesting detail: almost half of the respondents (48%) prefer to call customer service over their in-laws. The relationship with the in-laws is worst in France and the US: here three in four respondents prefer to call customer service. The research further shows that over two-thirds only contact customer service if there is no other way, or when they cannot find answers to their questions (77%). Almost half of the respondents (46%) is impatient. They use multiple channels at the same time to get an answer faster, such as chat via the website, email, and WhatsApp.
Contacting Customer Service Makes Me Nervous
More than 1/3 of respondents is nervous to call a company. Younger people are more nervous about it than older respondents. When your audience consists mainly of Millennials and Gen Z’s, the phone is not their first choice. They experience the most anxiety.
Twan Stoppelenburg, Team Lead Demand Generation Customer Service at CM.com adds:
“It is more important than ever to be available on the channels your audience prefers. Especially when you keep in mind that almost half use multiple channels at the same time. They’ll ask a question via live chat on the website, simultaneously send a WhatsApp message and start calling you. It is important to prevent these questions from being answered independently by multiple agents. Not only because it saves time, but to avoid the customer receiving different answers. If you gather all questions, from all channels, in one overview – you can invariably answer the question in a consistent way across channels.”
Less than half of respondents is irritated when contacting customer service because they cannot solve the problem themselves (41%). Calling with high urgency affects the peace of mind: nearly half assume they must be confrontational when calling customer service. People in France (87%) and Belgium (70%) assume they have to be more confrontational when they contact customer service by phone than people from other countries. 16% even think it’s okay to swear to a customer service representative. In China, even 1/5 thinks it is okay, while in Germany and the Netherlands the intolerance for swearing is the highest.
Fast, Friendly, Effective
It goes without saying: emotions can run high when calling customer service. Generally speaking, people would not describe their contact with customer service as positive: only one-third (33%) of respondents feel grateful after receiving help from customer service. Impatience is the most felt emotion (42%), next to frustration (36%). Twan Stoppelenburg continues:
”Emotions can be explained by the three basic expectations of customer service: fast, friendly, and effective. When waiting times are long, customers become impatient. When no effective solution is offered, they become frustrated. Grateful customers are likely to be helped quickly, kindly, and effectively. Service interactions can break the relationship with customers. Therefore, it is always important to equip agents with the most effective tools.”
The Bar Is Set
People expect customer service agents to help them out immediately and to experience good service. The more expensive the product, the more unlikely people come back after an unsatisfying conversation with customer service. For products over 500 euros, even half of the customers (49%) will walk away after a negative experience. Chinese and German respondents tend to walk away more easily after a bad service interaction.