Across all sizes of businesses and industries, customer service is an undeniably important aspect, especially now customers have more alternatives than ever on top of the ongoing recession.
The annual Zendesk Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report for 2022 revealed more than 70% of the brand’s consumers worldwide report that their purchase decisions are influenced by the quality of customer service they receive with 44% of UK customers would readily switch to a competitor after just one bad experience.
Realising the importance to be responsive to customer questions, complaints, or other types of inquiries can gain a clear competitive advantage for the company. Nearly 74% of UK respondents see a direct link between customer service and business performance and over 57%% estimate that customer service has a positive impact on business growth.
However, although 76% of UK business leaders deem customer service as a priority, almost 48% of UK customers feel that CX is merely an afterthought for businesses.
Closing the gap between customers expectations and experiences
"Companies cannot afford to have a purely transactional relationship with their customers. Good customer service is a key competitive advantage these days," said Matthias Göhler, EMEA Chief Technology Officer at Zendesk. "Customers are noticing this gap, and they're making purchase decisions based on the service they receive."
Consumers spend more online in the past year, prompting customer service expectations to increase. Increased customer engagement up to 11% globally and 12% in the UK alone represents the possibility to upsell or cross-sell to satisfied customers. Almost half the consumers surveyed are looking to resolve issues with helpful, empathetic agents - making 63% of them more open to recommendations from service agents.
Over 74% of business leaders claim to see positive ROI of their organisation’s spend on customer service across the past 12 months - yet only 30% strongly agree that their customer service spending has kept pace with the company’s growth.
Providing better customer service with ease of access and customisation
Despite its importance, almost half the companies surveyed have no strategic plan for their customer service over the immediate to medium term. Companies are also evenly divided between those who still view CX as a cost centre and half others who believe it is a revenue-generating engine for growth. When cost becomes one of the main considerations, technology provides the best solutions.
With round-the-clock automation and an efficient ticketing system, customer service agents can work smarter instead of harder. This comes in handy as most customers aren’t willing to wait more than 2 minutes in a queue, and 71% of consumers think that a fast response drastically improves the customer experience. At least 84% of UK customers would even take the shortcut by finding answers to their queries themselves to save time.
On top of offering speed and efficiency, customer service technologies offer the opportunity to personalise CX, as preferred by 9 out of 10 consumers globally.