Building brand equity through good customer service
Our latest Customer Service report reiterates the fact that people will turn their back on your business if you don’t deliver good Customer Service. With so much available it’s no wonder that 61% of our nationally representative sample said they’d switched away from a company due to a poor Customer Service experience.
So what do customers want from Customer Service?
Year-on-year results from our research have shown that customers expect better Customer Service now than they did a few years ago. To achieve this you need to have knowledgeable staff, minimise the effort expended by the customer, shorten the time from contact to resolution and ensure you are perceived as having taken the contact seriously. These were the key influencers we identified in our latest study. Personal effort in this case is linked to the number of contacts required and/or number of days taken to get a resolution – companies focusing on speed of query resolution are more likely to avoid a significant risk to customer satisfaction.
Preference towards live chat continues to grow and customers that used this type of service were generally left with positive brand perceptions. Customers also mentioned that seeking assurance that their issue was being dealt with correctly was a key point and in order to achieve this, telephone was deemed the best channel. Despite a lower incidence of phone contact this year it still remains the dominant Customer Service contact method overall.
Customers also think it is important to be able to provide feedback to businesses through Facebook and/or online communities. Social media platforms are seen as channels for companies to deliver speedy and personalised responses with a minimum of effort required on the part of the customer.
Unfortunately, it is these key areas of satisfaction that our data shows are the ones that require most attention, with (relatively) low satisfaction being reported, especially towards time to resolution which has decreased compared to last year.
How will this contribute towards brand equity?
Well, apart from a reduced risk of customers switching, a healthy majority (66%) of our sample also said they would be prepared to pay slightly more for a product/service through a company with a good reputation for Customer Service; 31% also said that they provide positive feedback on a product/service through social media, suggesting that brand value and equity can certainly be developed through service credentials.