I was so delighted when, after complaining to a grocery delivery service online, I received an email response within 30 minutes. I’d been unable to use a discount code on the website even though I tried three times. I placed the order anyway because I needed groceries. The customer service rep apologized in her email, acknowledged having other complaints and offered to manually apply the discount code for me.
Most consumers have higher expectations for companies that are operating during the pandemic. In fact, a recent study surveying more than 1,000 consumers in different age groups (conducted by Hiver, a customer solution company) found that people want customer service to be not only more responsive but also more empathetic. That means getting away from scripted answers and truly engaging with the individual. The study also found that email is the preferred way to communicate, although most people older than 54 prefer customer contact by phone.
Like most consumers, I want my problem solved quickly and I hate repeating myself. Aren’t you frustrated when you’re transferred to different people on a support team and you have to explain your complaint over and over again? This is a big issue for most consumers, along with getting robotic email responses that promise action. Finally, almost 90% of consumers in the study said they’ll share their bad customer support experiences with others in a review, on social media or by word of mouth. To stay competitive, companies have to protect their reputations and avoid negative feedback from the public.
So, to summarize, in 2021, let’s support companies that meet and even exceed our expectations. Better service means responding quickly to customers with empathy and addressing the individual’s needs. It also means empowering and training frontline support staff so they can efficiently resolve issues without giving customers the runaround.