Results Show Ready Access to Customer Knowledge and Information as Key for Driving Up Service and Satisfaction Levels
- Multi-country consumer study reveals loyalty benefits of good customer service: nearly 90 percent of consumers say good service makes them feel more positive about brands
- 81 percent “just want questions answered”
- Nearly one third think experiences are more positive when companies understand their account history
- Almost half are suspicious about how their data is being used
The results of a large-scale study of more than 18,000 consumers in nine countries published today by Verint® Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: VRNT), with support from analyst and consultancy firm Ovum and research company Opinium, highlights the importance of quick, easy and personalized service in securing their trust. It additionally uncovers deep divisions over attitudes in how personal data is used to deliver this service.
The research was carried out by Opinium on behalf of Verint. It found that while almost nine in 10 respondents (89 percent) agreed that good service makes them feel more positive about the brands they engage with, nearly half (48 percent) also said they are suspicious about how their data is used. Only one fifth of respondents agreed they want companies to understand their mood and cater to them accordingly. However, 43 percent admitted that when companies make mistakes, they are more forgiving to those they believe understand them.
“This study is a wake-up call for brands looking to revamp their customer service to cater to today’s more demanding and better-informed customers,” says Jeremy Cox, principal analyst, customer engagement, Ovum. “While brands have the ability to precision-target highly personalized communications for every single customer, the study shows what people around the world actually value most are the basics—questions answered with minimal effort on their part.”
Adds Cox, “Brands therefore have a fine balance to strike between the customized and impersonal service they deliver. Customers expect to be recognized, but will have adverse reactions if they feel stalked.”
This study also explored the impact of poor service on switching behaviour, as well as the benefits brands can reap if they get it right. Though cheaper pricing is the single biggest motivation for switching (31 percent), rude staff (18 percent) and too many mistakes (16 percent) are second and third on the list.
The research also found that good experiences can have a powerful impact on customers’ attitudes to brands. In fact, 61 percent of respondents said they would tell friends and family about their experiences, while more than one in four (27 percent) reported that they would sign up to the company’s loyalty scheme. Only one in seven (15 percent) didn’t think good service would change their behaviour in any way.
“The new rule book of customer service has less to do with personalization at all costs, and everything to do with making life easier for people,” comments Rachel Lane, Director Voice of the Customer Analytics EMEA, Verint. “On the whole, consumers have no patience with firms that don’t get the basics right. This is a challenge for providers and an opportunity to help ensure frontline staff have information at their fingertips to deliver a quick and seamless service relevant to each customer’s individual needs. Staff should be empowered to make decisions and ‘go the extra mile’ when required.”
Verint has partnered with industry analyst Ovum to launch a new report titled The New Rulebook for Customer Engagement, which will be published on October 8, 2015. The study advises organizations on how to tailor offerings to boost customer trust and retention across demographics.
About the Research
Interviews were conducted amongst 18,038 consumers in the following countries: Germany (2,006), France (2,001), Netherlands (2,002), Poland (2,001), UK (2,004), South Africa (2,010), USA (2,007), Australia (2,007) & New Zealand (2,000). The research was conducted online, in the local language for each area and respondents were incentivized to participate.