In a recent survey, we asked over 1,000 consumers in the United States to share their feelings about customer service and what they expect from brands when they reach out to their support team.
To help you build a data-backed strategy for your customer support organization this year, we’re diving into the data to share five key customer service stats and trends you need to know for 2021.
Keep reading for insight to stay ahead of the curve.
#1: 53% of consumers are likely to stop buying from a brand after a poor customer service experience.
Customer loyalty is no longer a given, and will continue to be a crucial success metric for brands in the new year as customer expectations continue to rise.
But if part of your customer loyalty plan does not include focusing on improving your support offerings, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to delight your customers. Of the survey respondents, over half of them said that after a poor customer service experience, they were likely to stop buying from a brand.
In the new year, it’s critical for every business to ensure that their brand is offering nothing less than excellent customer service in each and every interaction.
If you don’t, you run the risk of losing over half of your customer base.
#2: 50% of consumers report that Covid-19 has somewhat or greatly increased their prioritization of customer service as a factor when deciding to do business with a brand.
Consumers care about customer service.
They want to know that the brands they’re spending their money with value them as a customer, and will do what they can to meet your needs and resolve your issues. If they have a negative view of your support team, 50% of our survey respondents won’t consider doing business with your brand.
In 2021, the role of the customer service agent is going to be more important than ever.
Ensure your organization is investing in the tools your team needs, providing coaching for your front-line agents, and holding ongoing 1:1 meetings to keep reps on track with their goals and in-line with brand values.
By investing in your individual agents and creating a more engaged front-line team, you can improve your customer experience and, as a result, increase your customer satisfaction and keep customers coming back for more.
#3: 80% of consumers still prefer to talk to a person when interacting with customer service teams, versus self-service options.
As more and more businesses move online, contact with customers becomes limited. For many customers, the only time they ever interact with a person from your company is when they reach out to your customer service team.
With that in mind, businesses should be placing a renewed emphasis on investing in their customer service team as the main way to improve customer satisfaction with their brand.
Consumers are looking for more from brands than generic interactions and impersonal responses; they’re looking for humanized customer support that understands their pain points and their needs, and can give them a personalized response to those needs.
In fact, 80% of survey respondents report preferring to talk to a real person on a support team, versus figuring out the issue themselves with self-service options.
As brands continue to invest in automation and self-service platforms that give customers the ability to find their own answers, they can’t overlook the value of their front-line team in the new year.
#4: 61% of consumers say that if a brand turned a poor experience into a positive one by solving their problems immediately, they would do business with that brand again.
We’ve all been there – a problem occurs with a purchase or a tool we’re using, we reach out to customer support, and we’re met with answers that are unhelpful or don’t actually take the time to understand our concern. Our problem is left unsolved, and a bitter taste for the brand is left in our mouths
For many consumers, this is the moment they cut ties with a brand. But it doesn’t have to be.
In our survey, 61% of consumers reported that they would be willing to do business with a brand again, even after a negative customer experience, if the brand was able to solve their problem and turn their experience into a positive one.
Having a service recovery strategy in place will be a game changer for brands in the new year. Service recovery offers you the ability to pinpoint these negative interactions, and reach out to the customer to make it right.
By giving your agents the tools they need to follow up on these interactions and put a proactive service recovery plan in place, you give yourself a leg up over other businesses who may let these negative interactions slip through the cracks.
#5: 52% of consumers would be willing to share feedback with a brand after a poor customer service experience.
Speaking of negative customer service interactions, how does your brand capitalize on these moments?
Customers are eager to share their feedback. In fact, 52% of consumers in our survey reported that they would be willing to share their feedback with a brand after having a poor experience.
And if you don’t already have an effective customer service feedback strategy in place, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to hear directly from your customers what went wrong and then using that feedback to help improve your agent performance.
By collecting real-time customer feedback, you gain even deeper insights into how your customers are interacting with your team.
While positive feedback on agent performance is a great motivator for continued success, collecting negative customer feedback is just as important. It can be useful for identifying issues with your company website or messaging, policies that may be outdated, or finding coaching opportunities where you can guide your agents on how to best handle specific interactions.
Not having a system in place for collecting feedback from your customers means you lose out on this insight and are left with an incomplete view of your agents and their performance.
Using Customer Service Stats to Guide Your Strategy in 2021
The numbers don’t lie – for businesses of all sizes and industries, customer service will continue to be a differentiating factor to consumers in the new year and beyond.
Get even more insight to inform your service strategy with our Customer Service Trends for 2021 report.