The Good and the Bad of Customer Service
Forty-seven percent of people report having negative experiences when calling customer service departments, according to recent research from customer relationship marketing consultancy Ernan Roman Direct Marketing, based in Douglas Manor, N.Y.
Ernan Roman, founder and principal of Ernan Roman Direct Marketing, surveyed readers of his blog on The Huffington Post, asking them to share their comments regarding the quality of customer service they have received via phone contacts. The survey was launched in early July and polled a broad cross-section of business people and consumers. Results were tabulated after a statistically valid sample size was reached. The survey collected both quantitative and qualitative feedback.
Of the remaining 53 percent, only 32 percent reported positive customer service experiences, and 21 percent were neutral on the subject. On the negative front, 77 percent said they would be less likely to recommend companies that provided poor customer service, and 85 percent said such lackluster treatment left them with a negative impression of the companies.
"What's shocking in this age of CRM ... is when it comes to practice, it's not showing where it counts - in the customer experience," says Roman.
Compared to prior research Ernan Roman Direct Marketing has conducted on this topic, dissatisfaction levels with customer service quality has been trending about the same for the past four years, with one exception. This recent research revealed a growing perception among consumers that they're being held hostage by the companies with which they do business. Roman notes that this finding means the percentage of people who said they would be less likely to purchase from companies with poor customer service should be higher than the 64 percent tallied; anecdotally, many respondents indicated they were locked into service plans and faced other market situations that prevented them from taking their business to a competitor.