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Report finds speed and quality of service are key to customer retention

A new report has revealed that quick query resolution is the most important factor for European consumers when interacting with a company or brand.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Report finds speed and quality of service are key to customer retention

A new report has revealed that quick query resolution is the most important factor for European consumers when interacting with a company or brand.

The 2011 Global Contact Center Consumer Preference Report published  by Avaya, the enterprise communications systems, software and services specialist, found that 42% of consumers globally ranked speed of query resolution as the most important factor when rating an ideal customer service experience. Europe wide, the figures were broken down as UK 41%, Germany 48% and France 44%.

Commenting on the results, Lee Shorten, Avaya managing director, UK & Ireland said: “Based on this survey the message from consumers is clear: Time is money! The less time they spend interacting with your contact center the happier, the more loyal and more lucrative they will be. This is a global trend with European customers amongst the most passionate advocates.”

The survey found that good customer service was ranked second only to value for money when listing factors that determine brand loyalty. French customers said that poor contact centre service would make a third (34%) of them  move their business elsewhere while in the UK and Germany around quarter (27% and 24% respectively) said they would end their relationship with a company if the customer service did not meet their expectations.

Over a third of consumers in UK and Germany (36% and 34% respectively) said they would like to use smartphone apps to resolve queries while in France the figure was slightly lower (30%). Globally the phone was out of favour with 40% of consumers agreeing that they would prefer to use other methods to interact with customer service centres. This figure rose to 51% in Germany, the second highest figure globally.

Instead the survey found that email and web self-service were increasingly popular. Globally, 55% of consumers said they would choose to interact with contact centres via email while 38% would choose web self service. This trend was echoed on a country basis with 73% of German, 62% of UK and 48% of French consumers listing email as a preferred mode of communication. Similarly over a third (34%) of German and UK consumers would opt for web self-service with a slightly lower number (29%) in France citing this as their preference.

Shorten said: “Consumers have embraced new modes of communication. They like the speed and convenience that smartphone apps bring to their lives and want this replicated in their dealings with businesses. The good news for companies is that, implemented correctly, these new tools can improve agent response times, increase customer personalisation and actually deliver a lower cost of service.”  
 
86% of customers surveyed said they would tell friends and family about a negative customer service experience that caused them to move their business. Top of their annoyance list was poor customer agent knowledge, waiting too long to speak with an agent and then having to repeat themselves.

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