Customer Service Expectation Carries Across Industries

by , Jan 2, 2014, 6:18 AM
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Customers who’ve had a great customer experience elsewhere will bring the same level of expectations to other companies, according to a study published by Forrester and commissioned by Lithium Technologies.

Brands like Amazon and Virgin Airlines that deliver a personalized customer service are actually raising the bar for everyone else within and outside their industry.

With no clear leader in sight, financial services companies can gain an early mover advantage by focusing on improving customer interactions, according to the study.

Consumers rate their experiences with financial services companies -- which includes investment firms, banks and credit card providers – as just “OK” on average, with rankings ranging from “very poor” to “good,” according to Forrester’s Customer Experience Index that benchmarks the quality of customer experience for 154 large U.S. brands across 14 industries.

To define what customer experience means, Forrester dug deeper to find that consumers are moving past simply wanting to be recognized and heard—they want deeper engagement with companies.

“Visionary companies see increasing customer expectations as an opportunity,” said Lithium President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Tarkoff, in a release.

Health insurance plan providers scored the lowest in Forrester’s Customer Experience Index; while retailers scored the highest.

More than one third (37%) of respondents have a favorable reaction to a brand when they see a company has responded to a customer’s negative comment on social media. The younger generations (ages 18-24) expect brands to be active on social media, as 41% of them want companies to provide customer support via social channels.

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