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Customer Service Can Make or Break a Company's Reputation

Poor experiences are less common than you might think

For as much as you hear customer service horror stories, according to an August 2018 survey by call center tech provider Genesys, 94% of US internet users considered their last customer service experience to be positive.

Additionally, three-fourths thought that a human provides the best customer service, though roughly the same number (76%) would like to have digital options, too. Only 12.5% said they hated chatbots, though that leaves plenty of room for so-so feelings or indifference. 

A 2018 CGS survey of US and UK adults discovered slightly different preferences—specifically, that customer service callers would prefer to bypass a human. But, given the option, they would take a human over a chatbot. Chatbots were perceived as generally unhelpful and unable to handle complex queries. 

Whether dealing with a live person or a chatbot, no one seeking help wants to repeat themselves over and over. Getting issues resolved in one interaction is the ideal customer experience. And another major concern is how knowledgeable agents are. According to a recent study by customer interaction intelligence firm CallMiner, 62% of the US adults surveyed felt that call center staff should be aware of their service history in order to provide quality assistance.

Customer service, bad or good, has real-world implications. Close to three-fourths of consumers have bought or always buy based on a retailer's customer service reputation, according to Genesys.

On the negative side, multiple studies have shown that poor customer service drives consumers away. CallMiner found that 82% of US consumers said they would change companies after a negative interaction with a call center. And according to Genesys, 58% have gone through with switching providers after receiving poor customer service.

Close to half (49%) the respondents in the Genesys study gave up a brand after just one bad experience. Nearly half of consumers also discussed a bad customer service experience with family and friends offline, while 24% made their opinion known using social media. 

Customers aren't as hard to please as it may seem, though. Only 6% rated their last customer service interaction as negative in the Genesys study. This is important, considering 91% said they would stay loyal to a company after a positive interaction, per CallMiner.