BERLIN, GERMANY – April 2, 2013 – Customer service is the most important factor for consumers in developing a relationship of trust with a merchant. This is the finding of a representative survey of medium-sized enterprises in the US, conducted by dimensional research and commissioned by Zendesk (de.zendesk.com). The quality of customer service has a direct impact on the purchasing behavior of consumers. According to the study, 52 percent of the survey respondents purchase more from a merchant if they have had a positive service experience. On the other hand, 59 percent avoid merchants after a bad experience. This negative reaction is often long term: 39 percent of respondents who had a bad experience do not go back to the merchant in question for two or more years.
Whether an interaction is considered positive or negative by the customer depends not only on the resolution of a problem but also on the organization of the customer service team and the processing time. For 69 percent of the respondents, a short processing time is the reason for a positive assessment. The experience of having to repeatedly describe their concerns to a different contact person is considered by 72 percent as a reason for a negative assessment of the service experience.
The picture that the results paint for the US market can be transferred to the German market. For us, good customer service is increasingly becoming a competitive factor since it can raise awareness and ensure the long-term loyalty of customers, says Steffen Teske, Director for Central and Eastern Europe at Zendesk.
Customer service expert Teske calls for a rethinking at companies: They should finally stop looking at customer service as a pure cost center. A well cared for customer relationship is worth money because satisfied customers will come back while dissatisfied customers are often gone for good. For this reason, customer service should have a higher status in terms of strategy and operational planning. This starts with the proper organization of the support infrastructure. Customers should not have to wait several days for an answer or have the feeling that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing.
Other survey results at a glance:
- Good customer service was rated by respondents as the most important factor in the relationship of trust with a company.
- 62 percent of respondents from the B2B sector and 42 percent from the B2C sector bought more from a merchant after a positive customer service experience. In case of a negative experience, however, 66 percent (B2B) or 52 percent (B2C) did not make any further purchases.
- 24 percent of respondents remain loyal to a merchant after a positive experience, even after two or more years. 39 percent avoid a merchant after a bad experience, even after two years or more; among those with high income, this figure is even higher at 79 percent.
- Experiences are shared: 95 percent of respondents share bad experiences with others, 87 percent also share good experiences. 88 percent of respondents were influenced by online reviews about customer service when making their purchasing decisions.
For the report, a total of 1,064 persons who have had experience with the customer service offerings of medium-sized companies were interviewed in the US in early 2013. The study was conducted for Zendesk by dimensional research.
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Zendesk is a leading provider of cloud-based customer service software. For growing organizations, Zendesk is the fastest way to offer great customer service. More than 25,000 organizations of all sizes trust Zendesk with their most valuable asset: customers, partners and employees including Groupon (Germany), Jenoptik and Disney. Zendesk was founded in 2007 and is funded by Charles River Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Goldman Sachs, GGV Capital, Index Ventures, Matrix Partners and Redpoint. Learn more at www.zendesk.com.
This is a translation of a press release originally issued in German.