The State of Customer Service 2012

Call Center | 2 minute read

Customer service has evolved from being a necessary cost channel, to one of the most important business differentiators in existence.

The explosion of social media has empowered customers and changed their behavior, making them more influential and demanding than ever. In addition, companies like Zappos thrive by making great support a central pillar of their brand identity.

It’s an exciting time to be in customer service, so read on to find out where we stand today.

What Frustrates Customers Most About Call Centers?

Even though most consumers still prefer to use the telephone for support, only 26% agree that call centers provide great customer service. The customer service industry is missing the mark and needs to take action to keep customer churn to a minimum.

What are their biggest complaints?

  • Having to speak with multiple agents and repeat information(42%)
  • Being kept on hold for long periods of time (17%)
  • Not being understood by IVRs / speech recognition (12%)

Source: Zendesk Infographic

What Channels do Customers Prefer?

Despite new channels appearing all the time, the telephone has remained dominant, which makes keeping support costs under control difficult for organizations.

Source: Avaya Consumer Preference Report 2011

What Do Customers Think of Service

The customer service industry is missing the mark with regards to customer expectations, with only 26% responding positively when asked if they receive great support.

Source: Avaya Consumer Preference Report 2011

The Impact of a Good Customer Experience

80% of consumers prefer using the telephone for customer service, followed by email and web self-service, which makes keeping costs under control a difficult task for organizations.

Delivering a great customer service experience continues to pay dividends for companies from both a brand awareness and revenue perspective:

  • 58% of consumers will tell their friends about a great experience
  • 60% of consumers will pay more for a better experience

Source: Econsultancy Infographic

The Impact of a Bad Customer Experience

Bad customer service experiences spread like wildfire on social media networks, impacting a company’s brand and their bottom line:

  • 35% of customers stopped doing business with the company that ‘wronged’ them
  • 52% of consumers spread the word about bad service they received
  • 16% flocked to social media outlets to vent about poor customer service

Source: Zendesk

How To Become An ‘Excellent’ Call Center

The graph below shows that quickly connecting callers to agents and offering prompt issue resolution are the two most important factors, in order to be considered an ‘excellent’ call center.

It’s obvious that customers want fast and helpful service, but most support centers fail to deliver. On the other hand, organizations that do meet the needs of their customers are thriving.

Source: Avaya Consumer Preference Report 2011

These results show that customers want fast and helpful service, but most support centers fail to deliver.


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