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Industry Research : European Consumers ‘Satisfied’ or ‘Very Satisfied’ with the Service They Receive
Aspect, a provider of customer contact and Microsoft platform solutions, today announces the results of the Aspect European Customer Service Trends 2011 survey*.
70 per cent of European consumers taking part in the survey state that they are either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of customer service they receive – a figure that rises to 76 per cent for UK consumers. These figures compare favourably with those recorded in the 2007 Aspect Customer Satisfaction Index survey** when, asked the same question, just 53 per cent of European consumers and 55 per cent of UK consumers stated that they were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’.
The survey also explored the use of different communications channels and found that 35 per cent of European consumers used email for their last customer service enquiry – nearly as many as used the telephone (36%). 8 per cent of European consumers posted their last customer service query, 7 per cent used web self-service and 5 per cent used social networks. Overall, 56 per cent of respondents used ‘new media’ channels (i.e. email, SMS, web self-service, social networks, smartphone apps, web chat, blogs and forums) for their last service query compared to 44 per cent who used ‘traditional’ channels (i.e. post and telephone).
??Usage of different communications channels varied widely between countries and age group. In the UK, for example, just 24 per cent of consumers used the phone for their last service contact (compared to the European average of 36 per cent); while the highest usage of social networks was amongst the 16–24 age group with preferences for this channel dropping steadily the older the age group.
??According to the Aspect survey, the likelihood of getting a service query resolved quickly is also dependent on what European country you live in. Because while 65 per cent of European consumers state that their enquiries were typically resolved by customer service centres on first or second contact, in Spain and Netherlands, around 40 per cent of consumers say that they usually need more than three contacts; while in the Netherlands, 19 per cent say they need 6 or more.
??The survey also finds a clear link between customer satisfaction and rapid query resolution. Overall, 70 per cent of European consumers who indicated that they are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with the service they receive say that their problems are usually resolved on first or second contact; while 40 per cent of respondents who say that they are ‘dissatisfied’ or ‘very dissatisfied’ fail to resolve their queries on first or second contact.
??When asked to state their ‘requirements for good customer service’, 73 per cent of respondents pointed to the ‘secure handling of personal data’, 69 per cent to a ‘prompt response’, 65 per cent to ‘the friendliness of the service representative’ and 35 per cent to "being able to make customer service enquiries via smartphone apps, Twitter, web chat etc.’. However, there were some notable exceptions. In Germany, for example, the percentage of people stating that a ‘prompt response’ was a requirement rose to 91 per cent, while the availability of ‘smartphone, Twitter, web chat etc. options’ was a requirement for a significant 41 per cent of UK consumers.
"While the survey paints an overall positive picture for contact centre professionals it also highlights issues for organisations looking to deliver consistently high quality multinational service" said Mark King, Senior VP, Europe and Africa, Aspect. "Consumers in different European countries clearly have varying views on what constitutes good service, and different expectations when it comes to key elements of service delivery such as channel choice – and these factors must be taken into account when making key operational decisions and devising pan European service strategies."
??"To continue to meet and exceed customer demands, organisations must recognise the needs of all their customers, young and old, techno-savvy and technophobe. They must also look to integrate communications channels, encourage bi-directional interactions with customers, and integrate their contact centre operations with the rest of the enterprise to ensure the correct resources are instantly available to deliver superb customer experiences."??
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Published: Friday, May 13, 2011