Empathica Inc., a Georgia provider of Customer Experience Management reported American consumers feel customer service satisfaction has slipped since the first quarter of the year. Of 11,000 American consumers surveyed, Empathica reported on Friday that 61.7%, a rise up from 55.2% noted the downward trends. Of the 31.5% who responded that customer service was not getting worse, those statistics dropped to 24.8% in the second quarter. Similar responses were collected in Canada.
Client services of Empathica stated the overall uncertainty of the economy and consumer impatience when dealing with banks, retailers, and restaurants affected the overall opinions of customers. Similarly specific age groups reported higher dissatisfaction with customer service. Ages 45 to 54 topped the survey with the highest dissatisfaction numbers, and ages 55 to 64 had the largest percentage increase. Their high expectations might very well limit them to revisit those establishments and thus the search for a new provider; another customer lost.
So what does a survey like this tell us, and how can we benefit from such statistics? We can learn to create the most positive and best customer service experience for our customers, and use surveys like this to keep us informed. Customer needs and wants must be addressed, and the constant change needs to be recognized by optimizing employee behavior to deliver consistent customer service in an ever-changing society.
Employees need to be better trained and rewarded for exemplary customer service behaviors using team awards, benefits and senior management acknowledgments. Customer feedback and daily reinforcement can keep the competitive edge. Customer Experience Management should be the voice of the customer, and senior management have to be present and listen to what the front lines find as worrisome or what specific issues need to be addressed. Organizations need not be defensive, and should help employees learn and train what will make the customer experience better. Even with the realization that staff has had to be reduced because of climbing costs and less business, current employees should not be left just walking the plank. We need to find out through surveys and experiences what the customer wants. Even small details can lead to large rewards.