A tweet alerted me to Accenture’s 2010 Global Consumer Survey Executive Summary. Well worth a read. An interesting insight into Global Consumer Trends.
the number of consumers who switched service providers as a result of poor customer service declined in 2010.
Consumers in emerging markets are more inclined to switch providers due to poor service across all industries, especially within the retail and banking industries.
The advent and heightened use of Social Media as a service channel has not helped improve consumers perception of customer service.
satisfaction with customer service has decreased since 2009 in each of 11 characteristics measured
Perhaps this is due to the fact that a significant number of new channels now exist, but aren’t yet used by all companies. New technology does seem to improve the customer service experience somewhat:
More than two thirds (66 percent) say their growing use of technology for customer service through such chan- nels as automated phone attendant, live Internet chats and self-service options on a website has improved the level of service over the past several years.
And the fact that word of mouth / online reputation management is vital to all off todays companies is brought forward in the word of mouth part of Accenture’s research:
Word of mouth remains, however, the source of information respondents use most (76 percent) and consider most important (56 percent) when deciding whether to do business with a service provider.
Word of mouth extends to postings on social media sites, where one in four respondents say they trust the comments about companies and brands posted online by people they know.
Most of the conclusions seem to stress the importance of technology as well as social media in providing excellent customer service. Both are, in my humble opinion, not a way to lead or jump ahead of the pack, but simply a way of providing service that your customers expect from you. In other words, you need to use both to stay on par with your competitors.