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03/01/2021

Survey: Customers will pay for great online service

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Online shoppers are dissatisfied with many aspects of customer service, but satisfying them can pay dividends.

According to the fifth annual Customer Expectations Report from customer service platform Gladly, 83% of surveyed consumers will spend more money with retailers that deliver great online customer service. Meanwhile, nearly three in 10 (28%) respondents say their customer service expectations are not being met. 

Top reasons for this dissatisfaction include having to explain a customer service issue over and over again (73%) and having to know their ticket number (21%). Nearly half of respondents (45%) will never shop with a brand again after two negative service experiences. 

Key elements of a satisfying online interaction with a customer service rep include 
chatting with a knowledgeable expert on the product in question (78%); receiving recommendations from the rep for other products they know the customer will like (34%); and a rep who is willing to spend extra time consulting on other options (21%). 
 
Forty-six percent of surveyed consumers expect customer representatives to respond within a minute of initiating live chat. Additionally, more than six in 10 (62%) respondents want the ability to complete their purchase during a live chat conversation with a customer service representative.
 
Examining consumer attitudes toward chatbots, the survey uncovers mixed feelings about the technology. More than half (53%) of respondents found chatbots most helpful when they don’t want to talk to – or wait for – a real person, while 51% find chatbots helpful when they need a simple question answered as quickly as possible (51%). Conversely, chatbots are most frustrating for respondents when they present an obstacle to speaking with a human representative (43%) or when they make them feel like a number vs. a valued customer (52%).

Zogby Analytics conducted a nationwide, online survey in December 2020 on behalf of Gladly. Thousands of U.S. adults were invited to participate in the interactive survey, yielding 1,507 total respondents.