A new blog from Help Scout – a company that makes a web-based help desk focused on helping firms create better customer experiences – sheds light on some important facts, quotes, and statistics about the changing customer service industry.
Arguably, the most stunning facts and stats point to customers’ growing preference for using the Internet to contact customer service representatives.
To begin, there’s clearly a growing dissatisfaction among consumers with using the phone to reach out for help. According to one of Help Scout’s statistics – provided by the 2011 American Express Survey – two-thirds of all respondents said they’d hung up the phone out of frustration with customer support.
The American Express Survey also showed what customers don’t want to hear, starting with the admission by a customer service team that they’re “unable to answer your question,” followed by a request that the customer speak to a representative from another part of the company.
Equally frustrating for customers: being put on hold due to “unusually heavy call volumes,” and being told that “Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.”
The cost of such frustration is potentially huge: according to a survey by Harris Interactive and RightNow, a stunning 86-percent of people said they stopped doing business with a company over a frustrating customer service experience.
The Harris Interactive and RightNow poll also revealed that customers are most likely to be turned off when they feel poorly treated and when the company they’re working with fails to provide a solution to their problem in a timely manner.
In an effort to improve their customer service experience, consumers are heading online. A Pew Research Center report shows that well over half of Americans performed online research to learn more about the products and services they’re considering.
Jason Mittelstaedt, CMO at RightNow, says many are headed to social media accounts, like Twitter and Facebook, or to review sites, like Yelp and Amazon.
Unfortunately, many companies continue to fail in satisfying customers who head online for help. According to the Annual Mystery Shopping Study by The E-Tailing Group, only 10 out of 100 online merchants provided their customers with satisfactory customer service.
Clearly, customer service teams need to take note, everyone communicates online and if your company isn’t prepared to help customers on the digital channels where they play, those customers will take their business elsewhere.