UK online shoppers expect the highest levels of customer service in Europe, but only one in three rates the service that they get.
Only 41% of the 1,000 UK online shoppers surveyed in a report, The Omnichannel Customer Service Gap, carried out by customer service software company Zendesk , said they had been in touch with online retailers’ customer services in the last six months.
Some 72% said they had higher expectations of customer service over time – higher than any other nationality surveyed in the Zendesk research – but only 35% said they rated the speed of response as good or excellent, while 36% gave those ratings to the resolution they received. That, said Zendesk, produced the largest gap between expectations and outcome in all the countries surveyed.
By contrast, 44% of the German shoppers questioned described response times as good or excellent, and 42% felt the same way about the resolution they received.
“The customer journey doesn’t end at the online checkout or at the till in-store,” said Nick Peart, vice president of marketing EMEA at Zendesk. “Brands are failing to match their omnichannel efforts in sales with their customer service experiences. To meet the growing demands of today’s connected consumers they need to create seamless customer service across every touchpoint within the customer channel to succeed in business now and in the future.”
Eighty per cent said they believed companies cared more about selling through channels from online to the phone, stores and social media than about the overall integrated user experience.
But when the customer service is excellent, one in three says they spend more, while 82% would come back again.
Asked how they preferred to contact customer services, 54% said they would phone, 53% would opt to email – with the latter expected to become the most popular channel over the year ahead, according to 74% of respondents.
Zendesk worked with research company Loudhouse to produce the report, surveying 7,000 online shoppers, 1,000 from each of the UK, US, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany and Japan.