Mounds Of Data Failing To Improve Customer Service
Poor customer service sends consumers packing from one brand to another, despite all the data marketers collect to learn more about potential and existing customers. This year, U.S. companies failed to improve customer satisfaction in a meaningful way. Accenture calls the trend the Switching Economy, and it represents between 10% and 15% of the total annual disposable income in most mature markets, and between 20% and 25% in emerging ones.
U.S. consumers switched 5% time more this year, to 51%, as a result of poor customer service. Accenture estimates the Switching Economy puts about $5.9 trillion of revenue up for grabs for companies globally. About 1.3 trillion belongs to the U.S., according to the ninth annual Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Survey, which measures the experiences of 12,867 customers in 32 countries and across ten industries to gain insight into the changing dynamics of consumer attitudes toward marketing, sales and customer service practices. The survey included 1,256 U.S. customers.Word-of-mouth and social media have become the most important source of company information across industries, used by 71% of surveyed customers. Some 75% of respondents now use one or more online channels when researching company products and services, and 33% use mobile devices to access these channels online.
Consumers switched most among retailers, cable and satellite providers and retail banks. 91% of survey respondents were frustrated because they had to contact a company multiple times for the same reason; 90% were put on hold for a long time, and 89% had to repeat their issue to multiple representatives
Ironically, 81% of survey participants said they are pretty sure that the company with poor customer service could have done something different to prevent them from switching. While the findings show price still plays an important role, the customer experience is equally important.
The report found companies offering superb customer experiences exhibit five common customer-driven features. One of the most effective begins with a company's paying attention to the needs of the consumer, rather than the consumer fulfilling the company's needs for higher profits.