Increasing Customer Service in a Digital World [Infographic]

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The digital age offers businesses a huge opportunity to stand out from their competitors and gain customer loyalty.

Quote: “Smart businesses should come to realize that the customer service bar is lower— and that today, it’s easier than ever to differentiate your company from the pack with (crazy as it seems) actual quality customer service.”- Brad Tuttle, “A Few thoughts on the God-Awful state of Customer Service,” Time, 2010

Powerful Customer Service

Superior customer service can differentiate a brand in a commodity market and can level the playing field between large and small competitors.

Quote: “Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.”- Kate Zabriskie

  • In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration when they could not talk to a real person. Source: American Express Survey, 2011
  • 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent. Source: “Source: Harris Interactive
  • 80% of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service; Only 8% of people think these same companies deliver “superior” customer service Source: Lee Resources
  • By far, the most requested improvement from customers was “Better Human Service” Source: “The Cost of Poor Customer Service” by Genesys Global Survey, 2009
  • 94% of customers do not want to be transferred to another representative more than once Source: Mobius Poll 2002
  • 80% of customers prefer to speak with a representative on the weekends. Source: Mobius Poll 2002
  • 84% of customers are frustrated when a representative does not have immediate access to account information. Source: Mobius Poll 2002
  • 68% of customers leave because they were upset with the treatment they received whilst speaking to customer services –Source: US Chamber of Commerce
  • 69% said they were on hold for too long; 50% of the people survey said that agents failed to answer their questions; 44% said the information they received was not accurate. Source: Harris
  • 92% of all interactions happen via the phone and 85% of consumers are dissatisfied with their phone experience. Source: Gartner

Quote: “There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but our data demonstrates that superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth. Investing in quality talent, and ensuring they have the skills, training and tools that enable them to empathize and actively listen to customers are central to providing consistently excellent service experiences.”- Jim Bush, Executive VP at American Express

Vocal Social Media

Quote: “You have to be no less than a customer concierge, doing everything you can to make every one of your customers feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard. …Social media gives businesses the tools to do that for the first time in a scalable way.”- Gary Vaynerchuk, “The Thank You Economy”

  • Over 1 million people view tweets about customer service every week. Roughly 80% of those tweets are negative or critical in nature. Source: Touch Agency

Automated Customer Service

Quote: “While automation can be expedient, the resulting impersonal tone and risk of poor information are formidable … most importantly, merchants are missing an opportune moment to connect with current and prospective customers.” Source: Annual Mystery Shopping Study by the E-tailing Group, 2010

  • The most cringe-worthy phrases customers don’t want to hear:

“We’re unable to answer your question. Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx to speak to a representative from xxx team.”

“We’re sorry, but we’re experiencing unusually heavy call volumes. You can hold or try back at another time.”

“Your call is important to us. Please continue to hold.”

Source: American Express Survey, 2011

Online Customer Reviews

Quote: “The rise of the citizen review site is a sobering development. No longer are you on top of the mountain, blasting your marketing message down to the masses through your megaphone. All of a sudden, the masses are conversing with one another. If your service or product isn’t any good, they’ll out you.” Source: David Pogue, Scientific American, 2011

  • 58% of Americans perform online research about the products and services that they are considering purchasing. Source: Jim Jansen, Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 2010
  • 24% of American adults have posted comments or reviews online about the product or services they buy. Source: Jim Jansen, Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 2010

Quote: “Friends and colleagues’ endorsements, discussed in real life or through Twitter and Facebook updates, are more likely to drive sales than even a positive user review posted on a site like Yelp or Amazon (but those matter, too).”- Jason Mittelstaedt, CMO at RightNow

Email Customer Service

Quote: “People now expect the same—if not better— level of service from online storefronts and service channels as they do from a visit to a retail store or a phone conversation with an agent.” Source: “Email Customer service in North American small and medium Businesses” by BenchmarkPortal, 2005

  • 42% of online shoppers said they had contacted a retailer about an online purchase in the last 6 months. Source: Jupiter Research/Forrester Research Inc
  • 94% of all online retailers provide email customer service; 27% of email inquiries are answered incorrectly. Source: Zak Stambor, Internet Retailer, 2010
  • 83% of small and medium-sized businesses responded with inaccurate or incomplete answers. Source: “Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses” by BenchmarkPortal, 2005
  • 41% of consumers expect an e-mail response within six hours. Only 36% of retailers responded that quickly. Source: “Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses” by BenchmarkPortal, 2005

Online Retailers

Quote: “It’s very logical: There is proven ROI in doing whatever you can to turn your customers into advocates for your brand or business. The way to create advocates is to offer superior customer service.”- Gary Vaynerchuk, “The Thank You Economy”

  • In a 2010 E-tailing Group survey, only 10 of 100 online merchants made the cut for stellar customer service. Source: Annual Mystery Shopping Study by The E-Tailing Group, 2010
  • Customer experience quality could result in a swing of $184 millionfor a large Internet retailer. Source: Forrester Research Inc., 2008
  • eCommerce spending for new customers is on average $24.50, compared to $52.50 for repeat customers. Source: McKinsey

You can check out all our findings in the infographic below. Click on the image to view it in full-screen and don’t forget to share!

customer satisfaction and social media

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Christian Wright

Christian Wright is the VP of Client Services at Infosurv. With a master’s in marketing research, he’s equipped to design actionable research that yields impactful insights and drives change.