Customer service, according to a new survey by reviews platform Feefo, is something that British shoppers are deeply concerned with. When a customer is in the position that they need to contend with a customer service department, then the chances are strong that they’ll have a problem that needs to be addressed.
Of the 2,000 shoppers questioned, 30% reported that being passed around a call centre was the most egregious customer service offence. Automated voice systems were in second place, at 21%. While 28% of those polled cited the quality of a product as the most important factor in a decision to buy from a particular business, the helpfulness of staff was not far behind, at 26%.
The most common frustration among shoppers was not being able to find answers to questions about a given product, with 53% citing it. 79% reported having abandoned a cart prior to completing a purchase while online shopping, showing that shoppers will have no hesitation in not following through with checking out if something isn’t quite right.
The most popular means of communication following a purchase is through email, with 70% of consumers preferring it. Businesses that provide excellent customer service tend to earn the continued trust of the customer in question; those that don’t tend to risk alienating those customers. 30% of customers will switch to a competitor after just a single bad experience – which means that customers service departments face unprecedented pressure to get it right every time.
Another trend highlighted by the survey is the dominance of Google and Amazon. The former is visited by 41% of those asked prior to purchase, but the latter, perhaps surprisingly, isn’t far behind on 38%. For Feefo’s Head of Digital, Richard Tank, this is the important thing to notice.
‘While Google’s online monopoly on the web has long been documented, it’s clear that Amazon is now just as prominent as the search engine, even though it’s technically an online retailer,’ he says. ‘It’s important to recognise that while consumers may start their search on these websites, they often end up buying from somewhere else.
‘Today’s digital landscape is ever-changing and businesses have to meet the needs of their customers across the whole purchase journey in order to maintain sales and brand loyalty. The findings of this survey emphasise that.’
With customers being more fickle than ever before, it’s critical that brands take steps to optimise the customer service experience in order to retain them – Amazon, with their ‘customer-obsessed’ approach, might be model to emulate.