Consumers feel underwhelmed by the customer service they’re getting, according to CX Trends 2022, a study by Zendesk.
To start with, 68% say businesses need to improve the training of their customer service agents. And 54% say customer service feels like an afterthought for most businesses they buy from -- a figure that rises to 64% among those under age 40.
Overall, 70% of consumers make purchase decisions based on the quality of the service they get.
In addition, 61% say their customer-service expectations have increased over the past year. And 90% are willing to spend more with companies that personalize the customer service experience, while 89% will purchase more from firms that enable them to find the answers they need themselves.
This is happening as ticket volume has risen among all channels. The biggest CX channel, webform/email, saw a 10% increase.
Chat, at a distant second place, realized a 17% increase. Phone saw a 24% hike, and social messaging 32%.
WhatsApp realized the most staggering increase — 370% — but usage is still minimal. Social media jumped by 20, and SMS rose by 28%.
On the business side, only 54% of companies have a three-year strategic plan for customer service. Moreover, while 72% say their firm views customer service as a critical business priority, while 40% state it is still not owned by the C-suite.
In addition, 74% have increased spending on customer service, but only 30% strongly agree that this spend has kept pace with company growth.
“Customer service is now a key differentiator, but this year’s report reveals gaps exist between expectation and delivery,” states Adrian McDermott, chief technology officer, Zendesk. “Customers are noticing this gap and voting with their business — and that’s perhaps the clearest signal to businesses that change needs to happen, and fast.”
This report is based on three sources: a global survey of 3,500 consumers, a global poll of 4,600 business respondents and Zendesk Benchmark product usage data from more than 97,500 companies.