Once upon a time, slipping up with a customer – a bad experience with a rude agent, providing misinformation or keeping someone on hold for forever – was risking only one lost customer. While that customer might never return, hey, it was just one customer, right?
Then came social media. And the world of customer service was rocked.
New research commissioned by workforce optimization solutions provider Verint Systems has found that 32 percent of customers, nearly one in three, are sharing their customer service experiences – both of the good variety and the horror stories as well – with pretty much everyone they know via social media and blogs, U.K. marketing media site the Drum is reporting today.
So how is the customer service industry doing? Not so great, it turns out. The study found that only 49 percent of customers feel satisfied with customer service, and two-thirds of consumers get angry with long wait times. (And while they are waiting to speak with an agent, they’re likely on Twitter telling 500 people that your company stinks.)
“The findings of this study clearly show that service has become a new means of marketing and is favoured over price,” said David Parcell, managing director for EMEA at Verint Systems. “Retailers understand this effect better than many sectors – that’s why they tend to fare better than financial services providers and utilities firms when it comes to the customer experience.”
“If they are not doing so already, organizations must invest in listening to the voices of their customers, in particular the new, social-savvy,” added Parcell. “They also must face up to the challenge of unlocking the feedback from those that aren’t talking or remain indifferent about the service received, as well as the invisible. Until then, it will remain challenging for brands to distinguish themselves.”
The research examined the attitudes of 7,000 consumers toward customer service and call centers.
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