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Industry Research : Customer Service Agents Are Key to Calming Customer Rage
Five9, a provider of cloud contact center software, announces the results of the Five9 2013 Contact Center Report, conducted online by Harris Interactive among 3,014 U.S. adults age 18 or older. The research shows that today's consumers have incredibly high customer service expectations. However, they no longer have the time, patience, or desire to have in-person interactions with businesses to get support.
Consumers expect to get help wherever and whenever they want and most frequently, they want to use the phone to engage with businesses and get support. In fact, when consumers have an important customer service need, 70% will first call a company on the phone for help. In addition, the research uncovers several other important customer service trends.
The Customer is Still King!
Consumers are not willing to hop in the car and drive to the store to get service or support.
- 24% say standing in line makes them tired and irritated
- 22% say driving and parking are hassles
- 20% of consumers don't want to interrupt what they are doing at home
- 38% of 18-34 year olds say they don't have the time to visit a store, 23% prefer the anonymity of the phone and 16% like staying home in their "sweats"
Terrible Service=Customer Rage
There are a variety of triggers that cause consumers to become violent, enraged, or very frustrated when they call a company for customer service.
- Speaking with a rude customer service representative (60%)
- Speaking with an incompetent customer service representative (52%)
- Not reaching a live person when calling a company for support (48%)
- Getting disconnected (44%)
- Explaining their issue more than once (40%)
- Being put on hold for too long (38%)
When Expectations Are Not Met, Consumers Strike Back!
- 85% of consumers will retaliate against a company if their customer service needs are not met! For example:
- 49% of all consumers will stop doing business with a company, with men more likely to do so than women (52% vs. 46%, respectively)
- 65% of women will ask to speak to a manager, immediately
- 18-34 year olds (21%) are three times as likely to vent their frustrations on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook as those age 55+ (7%)
Smart Solutions To Soothe Angry Customers
The Five9 study identified several steps businesses can take to mollify infuriated customers. In most cases, it lies with the company's number one brand advocate, the customer service agent, to turn that enraged customer around.
In fact, 93% of consumers said they would be more forgiving when a company couldn't resolve their problem over the phone, if the person they were speaking with had at least one of the following attributes:
- Respectful (74%)
- Knowledgeable (69%)
- Friendly (57%)
- Patient (53%)
- Sympathetic (49%)
"After consumers purchase a product, they want to know a company is going to support them. Consumers also want to be in control of their service interactions with the company. And if their needs aren't met, it only takes a moment for customers to become infuriated. This results in a horrible experience for both the customer and the front-line customer service agents. Companies, specifically contact centers, can better prepare for this with the right cloud contact center tools, using technology to create smart customer connections that empower agents to deliver excellent, next generation customer experiences." - Liz Osborn, vice president of product and solution marketing, Five9
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Five9 between September 25-27, 2013 among 3,014 U.S. adults age 18 or older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, September 2, 2013