CPM Australia, a leading direct sales and contact centre agency and member of CPM International Group; partnered with ACRS to undertake a consumer research study analyzing the current state of customer service in Australia. The findings revealed that Australian consumers tolerance for poor customer service is lower than ever. A summary of the findings and downloadable infographic are available below.
Australians’ tolerance for poor customer service is lower than ever
Today’s consumers are faced with more choices than ever when considering how they want to reach a brand. They’re more digitally connected, socially networked and better informed than ever before.
Consumers are saying it’s still so hard to navigate and resolve customer service issues. These growing number of touch-points has had the negative effect of widening the gap between brands and consumers.
To better understand these concerns and how customers feel about the state of customer service in Australia, CPM Australia partnered with The ACRS Omnibus Tracker to explore these challenges. The “State of Customer Service in Australia Report” reveals critical gaps between customer service expectations of excellence, ease and accessibility and the disappointing realities associated with a lack of consistencies and response.
The power of word of mouth
The research points out that the power of word of mouth still holds its top ranking as the most popular channel. It reveals that the majority of disappointed consumers share their customer service experiences with one to five people. For those who have had a negative experience, 79% will air their grievances with friends compared to 72% who will share their positive interactions.
“It’s been a long standing belief that recommendations from friends and family is the most influential channel over all other forms of marketing. Yet, if consumers value word of mouth and marketers believe it’s effective, then why aren’t brand owners more focused on it?” said Martin Robbins, General Manager – Contact Centre, CPM Australia.
“I believe that the problem is that for the last few years, brands and retailers have been more focused on “collecting” instead of “connecting” directly with customers,” continued Martin. In other words, brands can get too caught up in collecting social media fans while forgetting to actually connect with them. Having 100 really passionate fans that love your brand or product is exponentially more effective than having 10,000 “fans” who’ve signed-up just for the off-chance of winning a new gadget.
The survey also reveals some costly realisations. Over one third (34%) of customers surveyed have stopped shopping at a company in the past year due to a poor customer service experience.
In today’s competitive markets, brands can’t afford to lose sales due to poor customer service. This research validates that customer service stories are spread widely — especially bad ones – and in our experience, you’re typically judged by your resolution and not the initial issue. The quality and immediacy of contact, response and resolution of complaints or queries cannot be underestimated in a world where consumers are less brand loyal and where social media and word of mouth can make or break brands.
Factors driving excellence
In an age where technology dominates our lives, the research shows that dealing with human being trumps social and mobile channels. Across all the age groups, 61% percent attributed an important factor to good customer service experience was getting their query resolved on the first attempt and speaking with someone in Australia (60%).
The study also suggests that social media and mobile channels will not solve customer service queries. For both simple and complex enquiries, customers’ top preferred communication channels for customer service based enquiries includes: speaking with a real person on the phone, followed by face-to-face (in store), and finally through email. Not only does the study reconfirm the notion that customers are seeking a human connection, but they are also seeking local Australian knowledge.
Microsoft and their agency partner – Retail Safari (part of CPM Australia); were awarded the “2017 Field Marketing Excellence Award” at the POPAI Awards for Australia and New Zealand, which took place in Sydney, Australia on the 12th October 2017. The industry event is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing the innovations of retail and shopper marketing across Australia.
“We are incredibly proud to receive this esteemed award,” said Michelle Casey, Channel Marketing Lead, Consumer Channels Group, Microsoft Australia. “It’s recognition of the robust work we’re doing in-field and a testament of our talented in-field Microsoft evangelists who are 100 per cent committed to delivering compelling customer experiences that drive demand and sales across our entire ecosystem.”
Awards were presented in several retail marketing categories. Microsoft was honoured among leading national field mark
eting experts for demonstrating excellence in innovation and implementation of a retail campaign that successfully influences and enhances the shoppers’ journey.
“We are proud to be a collaborative partner with Microsoft,” says Louise Mockler, Group Account Director at Retail Safari’s Sydney office. “It’s always been an honour to be in a strategic partnership that not only meets and exceeds business objectives but earns Microsoft recognition within the industry and community.”
POPAI is the only global, not for profit industry association exclusively advocating for excellence in shopper and retail marketing. With more than 45 offices and 1700 member companies worldwide, POPAI brings global best practice intelligence, resources, recognition and networks and to their members. 2017 POPAI winners: click here
A part of CPM Australia, Retail Safari provides a complementary suite of retail marketing services that connect consumers with brands in environments where the ability to influence is at its strongest. The integrated channel structure activates brands along the purchase journey, triggering the impulse to buy at critical points both in-store and out-of-store.
To find out more around CPM’s global industry recognition and success stories, please click here.
For more information, contact:
Tania Peck, 0414 011 587