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05/03/2021

Survey: Bad customer service is terrible for retention

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
Dan Berthiaume profile picture

Retailers who provide bad customer service may find themselves constantly paying the high price of acquiring new shoppers.

According to a new survey of 577 U.S. consumers from CRM platform Kustomer and Qualtrics, 90% of respondents would not shop with a retailer again if they provided bad customer service. In addition, 93% of respondents think retail customer service should be more convenient, up from 78% in 2019.

In more data revealing the high cost of bad customer service, 67% of respondents would completely abandon their purchase if they had a poor customer service interaction during the purchasing process, and 27% report either posting on social media and/or posting an online review after a bad experience with a retailer.

However, good customer service also pays dividends, as 93% of respondents would recommend a retailer to a friend after a positive customer service experience. And 62% of respondents will pay more money for good customer service, including 77% of respondents under 25.

Other interesting findings include:
•    Eighty-two percent of respondents report that they expect to be treated the same by online and in-store retail customer service.
•    87% of respondents get frustrated when they can't contact retail customer service on their preferred channel.
•    Seventy-seven percent of Gen Z respondents think chatbots are helpful, as compared to an average of 46%. 
•    Gen Z prefers customer service emails and texts, while consumers ages 35 and older prefer phone and email.

"The stakes for retail customer service are becoming higher as the massive shift to online shopping and resulting increase in customer service inquiries has permanently changed the role of customer service from transactional to consultative," said Brad Birnbaum, co-Founder and CEO of Kustomer. "There is no longer room for error when it comes to customer service, requiring retailers to deliver a true omni-experience to build meaningful and long-term customer relationships."