Five9, Inc. conducted its inaugural Five9 Customer Service Index research, conducted by Zogby Analytics, and the results are clear: customer service experience is key to a company’s success.
The Five9 Customer Service Index Research is the result of two surveys, polling over 250 U.S. business decision makers for retail, education, healthcare and financial services, and over 1,100 adult U.S. consumers. It focuses on the views of both consumers and decision makers, providing competitive insights into how executives view customer engagement, and how customers feel about it.
According to the research, 77 percent of consumers will not buy from a company where they’ve had a bad customer service experience. Similarly, a whopping 96 percent of respondents said that positive experiences factor into whether or not they’ll continue to purchase from a company in the future, solidifying good customer service as a vital way to ensure that customers will return.
A customer’s satisfaction has always been closely tied to their retention, as well as revenue growth. Businesses are well aware of the importance of customer satisfaction, with over 90 percent of business respondents ranking it as “very important.”
Social media makes the role of customer service particularly important, as negative reviews can go viral, and businesses now have easier and more effective ways to reach and communicate with individual customers than ever before. As a result, over 81 percent of responders, regardless of age, have high expectations for how quickly customer service can be provided. What’s most interesting is that across all age groups, consumers typically prefer using chat features, including SMS, Facebook messaging, or messages over Twitter, rather than email. The stereotypes of who does and doesn’t use chat as a customer service channel can now be put to rest.
With the growth of technology comes new ways of serving customers. Individual purchase history and buying behavior can be analyzed to determine what customers want and how to best serve them, and many companies are undergoing digital transformations in order to properly use that data.
For the most part, customers are fine with that, as over three-fourths of the surveyed customers said they welcome companies analyzing their past purchase history, so long as it leads to more efficient service and better interactions. There are those who feel it’s invasive, and certainly there are cases where it can get a little too personal, but typically buying behavior can be utilized to provide a better customer experience.
Five9’s report also found that, aside from a good past experience, customers are influenced primarily by pricing, but also fast customer service. There is a notable gender gap, with 92 percent of women valuing great customer service, compared to the 85 percent of men who said the same.
When looking at the business decision makers survey, the research found that slightly more than half of the businesses surveyed monitor customer satisfaction on a weekly basis, while 29 percent monitor it daily. It also noted that large enterprises, particularly those with revenues greater than $250 million, tend to view streamlining operations as a vital part of their Digital Transformation initiatives. Smaller enterprises do not view it as quite so important.
According to Blair Pleasant, President & Principal Analyst of COMMfusion, “Businesses today need to find ways to appeal to customers, which we know includes providing a great customer experience. Today’s ‘Digital Consumers’ are more demanding than ever, and have more options, making it imperative for businesses to provide the service consumers expect.”
She added: “Having a tool like the Customer Service Index, which can be used every year to track the changes and trends in consumer behavior, will be very useful. The ability to analyze the differences in preferences in terms of gender and age will providers retailers and any business that serves consumers with valuable insights.”
For more information, visit www.five9.com.
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