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45+ Thrilling Customer Service Statistics [2020’s Edition]

customer service statistics cover

Why do most people go back to the same pizza place over and over?

In 95% of the cases, the answer is customer service. And that’s just one of the astounding customer service statistics of the previous decade!

By resolving client queries quickly and efficiently, you set yourself apart from competitors, improve overall positive customer experience, and set the base for a solid relationship with your clients. Or, to put it simply:

Better customer service = gain

Naturally, that includes monetary gain!

Like it or not, the ‘client is always right’ principle is here to stay. We gathered the most astounding, stop-dead-in-your-tracks customer service facts to prove that.

To pull out all the stops, we have also prepared something extra! Read on until the end for 10 evidence-based steps to improve customer service impact and increase revenue.

Mind-Blowing Customer Service Statistics

Hopefully, we will shock you into improving:

  • 48% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after a poor experience.
  • 89% of companies compete on the quality of customer service alone!
  • 89% is also the percentage of clients who switched to another brand following a single customer service related ordeal.
  • Every year, US businesses lose $1.7 trillion because of bad customer service!
  • 95% of people say customer care is vital to make them loyal clients.
  • 86% of all are happy to pay more for great service!
  • You only hear from around 4% of dissatisfied customers…
  • … and for every complaint, another 26 unhappy clients remain silent!
  • Think you’re doing well? 77% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent, while 26% have been transferred from agent to agent with zero resolution!

Customer Service Impact on Business

As Earl Nightingale famously said:

“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.”

Whether you’re selling toothpaste, B2B solutions, or running shoes, your customers are buying more than the product. They are also paying for your attention, care, and the overall experience of purchasing from you.

How important can that be? Well, nothing short of crucial!

An overwhelming 95% of global customers consider customer service to be essential in their choice of and loyalty to a company.

Now, more than ever, clients are happy to take their business elsewhere, even after a single negative experience. With expectations rising by the minute, businesses often struggle to set themselves apart from their competitors. Unfortunately (for those who fail), it has been estimated that 89% of companies compete on customer service alone!

The stakes are high but the potential rewards are enormous. 86% of people are happy to pay more if it means the business provides reliable, efficient, and empathetic client care. Besides, things are improving overall – 66% of consumers feel the quality of customer service is getting better.

Of course, this means your competitors are also improving, so it’s time to take action and stand out from the crowd!

Customer Service Industry Statistics In 2020

  • As of July 2020, full-service restaurants in the United States mark a slight drop in the American Customer Satisfaction Index score. While in the last 2 years, the ASCI score was steady – 81, in 2020 people are a little less satisfied with the customer service received at a restaurant –  79.
  • The banking customer service in 2020 seems to take customer satisfaction highly. Both White and Black Americas are “very satisfied” with the service when it comes to managing their personal accounts.
  • Over 70% of Americans try to resolve their issue before contacting customer service when it comes to dealing with a state, federal or local government entity.

1. Customer Service is One of The Hardest Hit Departments During Covid-19

(Source: Harvard Business Review)

Using an AI named Tethr, with a proprietary 250-variable algorithm, researchers collected customer service statistics that showed:

  • The average company saw the percentage of calls scored as ‘difficult,’ increase by more than 100%. 
  • The typical levels of difficult calls range from 10% to 20%, but the pandemic made customer experience statistics worse. 
  • There were more unexpected travel cancellations, appeals for bill payment extensions, insurance coverage disputes, and other anxiety-induced calls.
  • Customer service stats 2020 collects show that reps have a much harder job to do. 
  • Some of the companies in the study saw hold times grow by 34%, and escalations increase by more than 68%, further highlighting customer service impact on business. 

Many customer service industry employees work from home, where there are no tech resources like you would find in a call center. Because of unreliable phone connections, no support from peers, and the pressures of the home environment, customer service facts show the job is harder now.   

Given the finance-related problems made worse by the pandemic, there was an observed increase of up to 2.5 times in calls made, leading to bad customer service consequences. 

2. The Churn Rate is Getting Worse

(Source: Harvard Business Review)

  • One of the Tethr AI study companies provided customer service statistics that showed difficult interactions had a 6% chance of resulting in an up-sell or cross-sell. 
  • The chances are usually 80% when the customer service experience is great. 
  • Stats for what percentage of unsatisfied customers leave or threaten to leave, show a chance of less than 4% to accept promos enticing them to stay. 
  • The normal customer service statistics regarding a customer threatening to defect and taking the save offer is 20%.

Customer reps are having a difficult time because they are still operating using manuals designed for normal situations. The importance of customer service is highlighted, not that pre-COVID-19 methods are failing.  

It will help companies to adopt new methods to increase positive customer experiences in the new Covid-19 pandemic reality.

3. Customer Experience Statistics Will Change in The Post Covid-19 World

(Source: Forbes)

The market is serving a customer who is financially impacted by the pandemic, wants to be touchless and fully digital. Past cases of sudden and overwhelming shifts brought about new changes:

  • The Black Death led to the end of feudalism and brought in the age of enlightenment in the 1700s. The church and state also became constitutionally separate.
  • The Spanish Flu led to socialized healthcare for all, employer-based insurance plans in the U.S., and global coordination to promote international health.
  • World War II saw women step up into jobs reserved for men. Rosie the Riveter is an embodiment of women’s empowerment. The baby boom started soon after the war, and the middle class sprung up in the suburbs.
  • 9/11 led to transport and security changes worldwide. Attitudes changed with more screening and surveillance. The rules may be nonsensical at times, but flying is now safer.

Customers have lost jobs, loved ones, and businesses. Hyper-awareness will increase after the pandemic, as people will avoid doing so many things that used to be the norm.

Taking advantage of technology will help businesses make life more convenient for their customers. As always, it is about solving problems without being too pushy with sales.

Great Customer Service Statistics

Customers Prefer Brands That Understand

Waitress Taking an Order from a girl in a restaurant

While modern consumers bring high expectations to the table, they also reward the companies that can meet them. Every interaction is an opportunity to turn clients into true brand ambassadors. Happy people don’t ditch their favorite product – in fact, they also bring their friends to the party!

4. Customer service was ranked #1 factor that determines a client’s confidence in your organization. 

(Source: Dimensional Research)

Trust is a solid base for a healthy relationship with your customers. With expectations constantly rising (in 2017, 53% of consumers in emerging markets expected better customer service), satisfaction is never guaranteed. According to statistics, at least.

But if you do achieve it, does it turn into more sales? It definitely turns one-time clients into long-term brand champions:

5. 95% of consumers say customer service is key to their brand loyalty. 

(Source: Microsoft)

However, if you fail to meet their expectations, they are ready to take their business elsewhere. Switching to a competitor has lead to $756 billion of lost revenue in the US alone!

Bad Customer Service Statistics

Resolving issues quickly and (ideally) within a single interaction can help you retain customers and becomes a major competitive advantage. Because:

6. What percentage of unsatisfied customers leave? 48% of customers have ditched a company after an unpleasant experience. 

(Source: Microsoft)

Young consumers (18-34-year-olds) are the most likely to switch. 64% of them abandoned a company in 2017 and that number is projected to grow.

High-income households are another group of active switchers. A Dimensional Research study found that 79% of them will avoid a provider for 2+ years after a bad customer service experience!

The main takeaways of these customer service facts are clear:

  1. Take care of your clients’ queries and they trust you more.
  2. Solid customer service means more to returning customers.
  3. A single negative experience could cost you a client.

But it might be getting harder to please customers…

Globally, 59% of people say they look for higher quality in customer care than they did a year ago. That number is even higher for the USA (56%) and for younger consumers (70% of 18-34-year-olds). It’s natural to assume that customer service will be getting more and more important as we go into the new decade.

In 2020, improving customer experience will pay off big time!

Customer Service And Revenue

Consumer behavior directly changes in response to customer service. This, of course, can go both ways. You can win big by meeting client expectations, or lose big (and not just monetarily) if you fail.

bartender serving drinks

7. 62% of B2B and 42% of B2C consumers spent more following a positive customer experience.

(Source: Dimensional Research)

Great client support yields long-lasting results, too. 24% of consumers keep doing business with vendors for two or more years after a positive encounter. On the other hand, a staggering 39% continue to avoid them after a negative experience. And you best believe they will also tell their friends about it!

This is especially crucial in ecommerce, where 88% of buyers have been influenced by an online customer service review.

Speaking of reviews, your happy (or unhappy) customers will spread the word about client care in your company:

8. 51% of consumers have recommended a company to their family and friends after a good client care experience. 

(Source: Dimensional Research)

And the effect of a negative impression of your customer service team? Bigger than expected:

    • 59% of the respondents to the Dimensional Research survey stopped buying from the business.
    • 55% went to a different company for the same product or service.
    • 40% told others NOT to buy from the company.

Social Media Customer Service Statistics

Female customers getting paper bags at counter desk

9. 59% of consumers have a more favorable view of brands that respond to customer service questions or complaints on social media.

(Source: Microsoft)

Young people (the 18-34 age group) are even more impressed when you take their thoughts into account. 77% of them praise brands that are responsive on social media and many follow their favorite brands there.

They are also more trusting when it comes to their voice actually being heard. 55% of them believe most brands take feedback into consideration, as opposed to 49% of the general respondents.

Dimensional Research dug deeper into the sharing of negative experiences. Say a client had an unpleasant encounter with customer service. Their trust in your company is undermined, they are less likely to buy from you, or stay loyal (as opposed to going to your competitors).

However, a negative customer service experience impacts more than just a single client. According to customer service statistics from 2019, people are more than eager to share their thoughts:

  • 81% will share a bad experience with friends and family in person. 
  • 57% would tell their coworkers.
  • 45% take their complaints to social media, for thousands to see.
  • An additional 35% go to review sites like Yelp (and remember, these sites influence 88% of ecommerce sales).

These general numbers become even more worrying when we look at big spenders.  Among those making over $150,000 a year, an impressive 100% had shared their bad customer experience with others!

Lessons learned! For 2020, keep in mind that:

  1. Consumers aren’t shy about sharing their frustrations.
  2. If you take notice of those complaints (and make changes), your brand will be viewed more favorably.

Now let’s talk about proactively improving your client care!

Proactive Customer Service Statistics

First, the key customer service expectation facts:

  • People want to talk to an agent. Voice calls are the preferred customer service channel.
  • Friendly representatives make clients stick around by providing a memorable personal experience.
  • 76% of consumers expect the agent to know their contact info and service history. A less-than-knowledgeable rep is ranked the #1 reason for poor customer service experiences.
  • The customer service industry has the highest employee turnover rate of all businesses. Call center statistics have placed it as high as 45%!

call center

Customer service agents are the face of your company… yet they’re often underqualified, underpaid, and underappreciated. 

It’s not a revolutionary discovery that to provide high-quality customer service you need high-value employees doing it. Luckily, keeping your client care champions is largely within your reach. Here are the main reasons for the high turnover (so you can tackle them ASAP):

  • Poor growth opportunities – most customer service reps don’t plan on staying in that job forever. 31% of consumers consider a knowledgeable agent to be the most important factor for positive customer experience. Consider ways of keeping your talent and upping their skills!
  • Low pay and minimum benefits – while compensation isn’t the only thing that motivates an employee, a minimum wage is hardly an incentive to perform excellently and keep improving.
  • Lack of training – you want your agents to be well-informed and your clients expect the same. By providing high-quality training, you can equip customer service representatives to face the challenges of their job, reduce turnover, and hugely improve customer experience.

Plus, if we’re speaking numbers, the Human Resource Institute estimates that turnover costs about $10-$15k for a frontline employee! With call center statistics like these, it’s hard to see why companies are doing so little to reduce their agent’s turnover rate.

Then again, the journey toward improvement doesn’t stop there. Train your agents to meet customer expectations such as:

  • Knowledgeable agent – extensive training helps representatives resolve queries more efficiently.
  • Not having to repeat themselves – this is ranked #2 frustration (after incompetent agents) and is easy to resolve by warm transfer of calls.
  • First-call resolution – according to customer service statistics, this is the #1 factor that makes a positive customer experience. A startling 26% of customers have experienced pointless transfer between agents, only to be left without a resolution. This area shapes up as yet another one, where improvement can be a huge competitive advantage.
  • Reachable customer service – under-staffing and under-training (which leads to lower efficiency) are both to blame here. Since 77% of consumers consider the difficulty of reaching an agent to be the biggest issue with customer service today, it’s worth investing in resolving it.

Self-Service Statistics

Today’s customer expects to receive support anytime, anywhere.

You can’t call an agent if it’s 3 AM, you’re in traffic, or if you only have 5 minutes to spare. 

Think about your own experiences as a client. People naturally try to solve the problem by themselves.

Unconvinced? According to results, 66% of respondents of customer service questionnaires used self-service before talking to an agent. 88% expect a dedicated online self-service portal!

With two-thirds of consumers first trying to solve a problem on their own, providing an understandable and thorough knowledge base is the first step. It’s also the first thing clients encounter when they troubleshoot their issues.

Here is how you make self-service better (based on what people usually complain about):

  • Provide information on multiple issues (43% of people said it wasn’t enough)
  • Organize it well and include a search option (18% were unhappy about the disorganized info)
  • Don’t overwhelm the reader – the simpler, the better (16% said they had too much to sort through)

Make customer service effortless across channels by leveraging technology!

10. An overwhelming 85% of respondents in customer service studies found video chat helpful. 91% loved co-browsing. 

(Source: Accenture Strategies)

Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are also gaining traction:

  • 50% of people no longer care if they’re interacting with a human or a bot (as long as the service is efficient).
  • 48% of consumers in the 18-24 age group believe AI solutions make the customer experience better.
  • 44% of users already use digital assistants and 86% are happy with the service they provide.

That said, over 40% of consumers cite reasons to distrust AI. The distrust is highest when it comes to their children, safety, and financial affairs.

Should this discourage you from employing AI support?

No, but you should definitely consider these concerns when you’re developing AI solutions. Remember, single-contact resolution and a knowledgeable agent are the two most important things for consumers. If your AI support can help with that, why doubt it?

AI Customer Service Statistics

What does the future hold for customer service? Let’s take a peak!

11. 85% of all customer service interactions in the future will not involve speaking to a human.

(Source: Tidio)

As much as AI customer service statistics did not seem to be as impressive when they first appeared in 2017, it is becoming more relevant with each day in terms of efficiency and swift customer care.

  • 64% of internet users cite 24-hour customer service availability provided by a chatbot, which is why they are better than human reps.
  • On Facebook alone, there were 300,000 chatbots in 2018.
  • 1.4 billion people interact with chatbots regularly.

According to positive customer service statistics, the best part is that chatbots tend to give answers more quickly when compared to a human. They can answer 80% of standard questions most likely to be asked by customers.

In a future where touchless is the way to go, chatbots will be more prominent, to streamline the provision of customer service from remote settings.

Customer Service Statistics of 2020: The Business Gamechanger

With mounting customer expectations, companies are finding it harder to keep up. But if there is one thing you can learn here, it’s this:

Awesome customer service sets you apart. And that’s statistics talking.

No matter what your business is, make the future brighter by investing in client care in 2020!

 

Sources:

  1. Harvard Business Review
  2. Harvard Business Review
  3. Forbes
  4. Dimensional Research
  5. Microsoft
  6. Microsoft
  7. Dimensional Research
  8. Dimensional Research
  9. Microsoft
  10. Accenture
  11. Tridio

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