A recent study by Accenture indicates (once again) that price is less often the determining factor in overall customer satisfaction. The global survey entitled "High Performance in the Age of Customer Centricity" reported that more than two thirds of respondents who switched supplier in the last year, did so as a result of poor customer service. Among the survey’s other findings:
- Consumers were most likely to switch providers when they were dissatisfied with four key aspects of customer service, including:
- whether service representatives were polite and friendly;
- whether their issues were resolved in a timely manner;
- whether service representatives took ownership for resolving the customer’s issue; and
- whether customer service was available at convenient times.
- Consumer expectations were met least often in the emerging markets. In China, there was a particularly notable decline in companies’ ability to meet consumer expectations, with only 32 percent of Chinese respondents in this year’s survey saying that their expectations were met frequently or always, down from 70 percent in 2007.
- Consumers in emerging markets were most likely to say that the increased use of technology has improved customer service. Nearly nine in 10 respondents (87 percent) in emerging markets said technology has improved customer service, compared with only 44 percent in mature markets.
- Consumer use of the full range of service channels has increased in the past year. While the vast majority of consumers still prefer to use the telephone to seek assistance (selected by 85 percent of respondents), use of other service channels — including e-mail, speaking with representatives at places of business, corporate Web sites, sending a letter and online chats — has increased across the board. However, satisfaction with service declined across most channels, with the exception being live online chat -- 43 percent of consumers reported that they were satisfied with chat services, up from 30 percent a year earlier. Even so, satisfaction remained highest when service was delivered on premise, with the largest number of respondents – 55 percent – expressing satisfaction with on-premise customer service.