Agent Motivation

Customer Support Trends Every Business Needs to Know

Long wait times. Impersonal interactions. Having to repeatedly call, email, chat, text, and even reach out via social media for help. It’s time for these types of frustrating customer experiences to become a thing of the past.

Brands that don’t risk significant customer churn.

This is just one key takeaway from Customer Service Trends for 2022: Preparing for the Future of Customer Service, a comprehensive report based on our customer service study of more than 2,100 consumers in the US and UK.

Get a sneak peek of the insights below to find out the top customer support trends every business needs to know for the new year and beyond. 

4 Critical Customer Support Trends and Why They Matter for Your Business

From the widespread practice of spreading negative word of mouth (WoM) after a poor customer service interaction to the link between poor customer service and customer retention challenges, here are four key customer support trends you need to understand to keep up with shifting consumer expectations. 


#1: Negative word of mouth (WoM) marketing is the new norm, with nearly 50% of consumers engaging in it after a poor customer service experience. 

According to our research, 40% of US and UK consumers say they will share customer feedback about their bad customer service experience online, and nearly half (49%) of American and British consumers say they will tell their friends and family to stop buying from a given brand after a negative experience. 

40% of US and UK consumers say they will post about a poor customer service experience online

49% of US and UK consumers say they will tell their friends and family to stop buying from a brand after a poor customer service experience

Source: 2021 Stella Connect by Medallia survey of 2,100 consumers in the US and UK

The flip side of this type of negative word of mouth, of course, is positive WoM – the kind that results from positive customer service interactions and experiences. 

When brands treat customers as their biggest advocates, they have the potential to drive meaningful results, as illustrated by the fact that WoM marketing produces roughly $6 trillion in consumer spending each year.

#2: Personalization isn’t just a nice to have—roughly half of customers expect personalized experiences. 

Customers across the US and UK want a reasonable amount of customer service personalization, with 47% of Americans and 57% of Britons saying they expect brand representatives to know their names as well as their previous purchases. 

UK consumers have higher standards for personalization than their US counterparts, with just 23% of British shoppers saying they only expect customer service teams to offer “basic” personalization compared to 41% of Americans who say the same. 

Insights on the Future of Customer Service

#3: With declining customer loyalty and increasing customer churn at stake, customer effort is a customer service metric brands can’t afford to ignore.

Brands don’t have much time to get things right for customers. For one, customers simply aren’t willing to wait.

ONLY 35% of US consumers say they’d only wait up to 5 minutes for a customer service response

ONLY 14% of US and UK consumers say they’re willing to wait up to 15 minutes

ONLY 6% of UK consumers say they’re willing to wait more than 15 minutes

Source: 2021 Stella Connect by Medallia survey of 2,100 consumers in the US and UK

And for another, many of us aren’t willing to follow up with customer service again. And again. Most customers will only give brands a few chances to resolve things before switching to the competition. Our findings reveal that 67% of US and UK shoppers say that they would stop doing business with a brand after just a few poor customer service interactions. 

60% of consumers across the US and UK say that they will stop buying from a brand after a poor customer service experience

52% of consumers say they have switched brands due to a poor customer experience

67% of US and UK shoppers say they would stop doing business with a brand after only 2-3 poor customer service interactions

Source: 2021 Stella Connect by Medallia survey of 2,100 consumers in the US and UK

Furthermore, 70% tell us that they would only reach out to customer service two to three more times if their initial issue isn’t resolved before leaving a negative review or switching brands.

#4: More than ever, effective customer support teams are an essential brand differentiator. 

In the last year, 53% of consumers say they have switched brands due to a poor customer experience. This pain point paints a clear picture of customers’ waning patience and the challenging road ahead for brands and their customer support teams. 

On the other hand, 84% of US and UK consumers say that when customer service solves a problem for them, they feel more emotionally connected to the brand. This type of engagement can build loyalty and keep customers coming back.

97% of consumers across the US and UK say that they would continue to do business with brands that turn poor experiences into positive ones by solving their problems immediately

88% of consumers are more likely to leave feedback if they know doing so would help the customer service agent improve the customer experience

84% of US and UK consumers say that when customer service solves a problem for them, they feel more emotionally connected to the brand

Source: 2021 Stella Connect by Medallia survey of 2,100 consumers in the US and UK

Discover More Customer Support Trends Every Business Needs to Know

For the latest on customer support trends that will influence how CX leaders invest in customer experiences and customer service training in 2022 and beyond, claim your free copy of our new report Customer Service Trends for 2022: Preparing for the Future of Customer Service. ​​​​

 

Customer Service Trends for 2022