Customer experience is a key driver for revenue growth in Europe, research from Oracle has found, with 81 per cent saying that they would be willing to pay more in order to receive superior customer service.
The report, Why Customer Satisfaction is No Longer Good Enough, found that improvement of the overall customer experience (40 per cent), providing quick access to information and making it easier for customers to ask questions (35 per cent) were key drivers for a consumer to spend more with a brand.
Danny Rippon, CRM business solutions director at Oracle, said: "Our report has made one thing absolutely clear: getting customer experience right can help increase revenue and win customers away from competing organizations. By creating a consistent and connected experience across all points of customer contact — including the increasingly important social channel — businesses can clearly differentiate themselves and build priceless brand capital. As an absolute fundamental, businesses must ensure that their customer experience systems can support fulfillment and service to the extent demanded by consumers, while at all times making it as simple as possible for them to interact with the brand. This is the key both to winning new customers and retaining them for the long-haul."
Consumers cited having to use different methods of contact to resolve an issue (26 per cent) and using different methods several times (24 per cent) as the point when dealing with a customer service issues becomes ‘too much effort’.
The most popular method of contacting a business is by telephone (37 per cent), while 22 per cent said their first action would be to send a support request email through a company website.
It was discovered that only 46 per cent of respondents claimed to have received a reply from a company after posting a comment through social media.
Adam Stewart, director of marketing at Rakuten’s Play.com, said: “Oracle’s findings highlight that getting the basics of customer service in place is still more valuable than ‘service extras’. In response to customer feedback we recently brought our own customer service Contact Centre back to the UK. Further, we are boosting the 55 strong team to 200 over the Christmas period to ensure customers receive the best possible service.
Some retailers treat e-commerce as a straightforward vending machine-like experience in which price is the most important factor, and the only way to tempt shoppers to come back is by offering extras and up selling. However we’re finding that consumers now expect more than just good value from their online shopping experience. In fact, we found that over a third of shoppers (37 per cent) believe the quality of customer service is more important online than in-store.
The incentive is clear, not only will you ensure shoppers come back and make repeat purchases, but with nearly half of under 25s and over a third of 25-34 year olds turn to social media when other customer service channels fail, in order to air concerns publically, you want to ensure your brand isn’t the one with a social media #fail due to poor customer service. We ensure we follow the Rakuten best practice model from Japan, Omotenashi, a Japanese service style which aims to go the extra mile when delivering great customer experience.”