Consumers Will Jump Ship Over Bad Customer Service, Study Finds

Brands often fail to realize that a good customer experience starts with good customer service. And consumers won’t put up with it, according to the 2021 State of Digital Customer Experience Report.  

Of the consumers polled, 40% are likely to jump ship from cell phone, cable, utility or insurance companies for better digital CX. And 32% will leave after one bad experience.  

The study also found that:

- 20-33% of consumers rated their provider’s digital service offerings from “needing improvement” to “horrible.”

- 64% reported they were unable to get help or solve their problem through customer service. 

- 55% said they are familiar with real-time order updates. 

- 40% said they are familiar with self-service appointment scheduling.  

Airkit notes that there is “a dire need for businesses to review how their consumer experiences can be improved –– not worsened –– by digital automation.”

The average consumer waits between five and 10 minutes when calling in to customer service. Here are the main types of service calls (each respondent was asked for their top three):

  • Where is my order — 45% 
  • Return or refund request — 41% 
  • Subscription or service cancellation — 33%
  • Product help or complaint — 31%
  • Repair or service — 31%
  • Account information request or change — 20% 

The first type of call -- “Where is my order” -- could easily be pre-empted by an email program that notifies people when products are shipped, and literally, when they are delivered. Amazon has such a capability. 

Indeed, the study states that order updates should be automated.  

“By using tools like self-service web flows, email, and automated appointment scheduling, you give your customers the flexibility to choose how they’d like to be served while also reducing the time they spend waiting for that service,” the study notes. 

Consumers are now truly multi-channel when seeking service, and brands must meet them at these touchpoints:  

  • Phone — 83% 
  • Live chat — 56% 
  • Website — 42%
  • Automated chatbot — 17%
  • Mobile app — 16% 
  • Texting — 14% 

Prior to the pandemic, consumers mostly used digital services in the following verticals: 

  • Banking and insurance — 36.5%
  • Cell phone and cable — 30.2% 
  • Retail and grocery — 24.6% 

But the COVID-19 pandemic drove a 27% increase in the retail and grocery sector, as well as 20% in media and entertainment, 17% in banking and insurance and 14% in cell phone and cable.  

Airkit conducted what it says is a broad survey of consumers in May-July 2021. 



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