Thursday, January 10, 2008

Customer Service REALLY is Important

Thank you Accenture. They just published the report "Customer Satisfaction in the Multi-polar World: Accenture 2007 Global Customer Service Satisfaction Survey Report." The survey included 3552 consumers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States. The survey was taken in July and August 2007.

The results paint an obvious picture. Here are some of the key findings noted in the report:
1. Customer expectations are rapidly increasing. 52% of the repondents indicated they have higher expectations for service quality today than 5 years ago and 33% have higher expecatations than 1 year ago.
2. Customer defections are serious. Customer service is the leading reason why customers choose to find a new provider. One supporting statistic is that 77% of the respondents are willing to stay with a company that provides a positive service experience.
3. Service quality is poor. 88% of customers reported they have suboptimal customer service experiences. During the past year 59% of the respondents indicted they have switched service providers because of a bad service experience. From the positive side, 5% of the respondents describe service as excellent but only 3% report that their expectations are always met.

One very important conclusion that was drawn by Accenture is that companies seem to be refusing to recognize the expanding divide between what customers want and how companies actually meet (or don't meet) their customers' needs.

I like the following phrase in the report:
Internal statisfaction metrics don't convey the gravity of these declines in satisfaction as expressed directly by consumers reponding to this survey. Companies will need to ensure their reporting and metrics provide a reliabile view into this issue and how their responses are affecting it.

I wonder how many of the companies whose metrics are not helping them are committed to using NPS?

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