Nearly half of customers surveyed said they would take their business elsewhere within a day after a bad service experience as long as the price and products are comparable, according to a study by 7, with cable and satellite service providers the most vulnerable.
In its 7 2016 Customer Engagement Index, the research company surveyed 1,200 U.S. consumers and found that 47% of those surveyed would take their business elsewhere within one day of being on the receiving end of poor customer service (79% would switch providers within one week).
“The way customers engage with brands has dramatically shifted, yet many enterprises’ approach to customer service and sales is stuck in yesterday’s paradigm,” 7 founder and CEO PV Kannan said in a statement. “For this reason, it’s more important than ever for brands to be where their customers are, and allow them to engage on their own terms. Companies that fail to prioritize the customer experience risk falling behind.”
According to the survey results, cable and satellite providers are the most susceptible to losing customers due to poor service, and a quarter of millennials have changed retailers due to poor customer service.
Cable and satellite service providers had the lowest customer satisfaction scores in the survey with 59%, with Internet service providers the second lowest at 63%.
Customer service has been a major priority for cable companies in the past, with major providers like Comcast, Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable pumping resources and stepping up efforts to improve the customer experience. In the past few years cable operators have made big strides in reducing basic video customer losses, with Charter and Time Warner Cable reporting their first positive full-year basic video customer growth in several years in 2015.
Automated phone service appears to be a common frustration for customers. According to 7, 37% of consumers who ended a business relationship from poor customer service did so because they were frustrated with the interactive voice response (IVR).
Additional findings from the 7 2016 Customer Engagement Index include:
- 95% of customers use three or more channels and devices to resolve a single customer service issue
- One in five consumers who ended a business relationship from poor customer service did so because they waited too long to talk to someone on the phone
- 86% of consumers describe a great customer service experience as one of the following: the company anticipates their needs, the self-service is optimal and they’re able to contact the company any way they want.
- 35% of millennials report that optimal self-service is what they look for in a great customer service experience.