- Preliminary results reveal most British consumers do not feel customer service is improving, a contrast to consumers in France, Germany, the Netherlands and the US
- However, they are less likely than most nationalities to complain about service during busy holiday periods
August 21, 2019 – SAN FRANCISCO – Helpshift, the company revolutionising customer service through its intelligent digital-first platform, has released new data revealing consumers’ opinions about the state of customer service ahead of the busy holiday shopping season. 59% of British consumers surveyed stated customer service is either not improving or getting worse, in contrast to only 46% of French, 45% of Americans, 38% of Germans and 34% of Dutch respondents.
Other key findings from the study include:
- British consumers are more understanding during the holidays: During the busy holiday season, only 24% of British consumers surveyed reported that customer service declines, lower than the average of all countries surveyed of 30%.
- Customer support queries increase significantly during the holidays: New proprietary data from Helpshift’s retail customers showed that customer support tickets globally increased 47% during the 2018 holiday season. Cyber Monday saw an even higher 167% increase in ticket volume compared to non-holiday periods.
- Customer satisfaction is unaffected by the higher volume of queries during this period: Customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores during the holidays generally increased by 0.43%. During Cyber Monday, CSAT actually increased even more, by 6%. The consumer survey also found 30% of respondents believe customer service actually improves during the holidays, while 29% believe it declines.
- New tools are helping retailers scale during busy periods: Helpshift retail customers saw the average time to first response to a customer support query improved by 13% during the 2018 holiday period compared to the rest of the year, while time to resolve a query improved by 9%. Time to first response improved by an additional 10% during Cyber Monday.
- British consumers are the least likely to increase customer support interactions during the holidays: Only 19% of British consumers surveyed stated they interact with customer support more than usual during the holidays; 22% of French, 28% of Dutch, 31% of Americans and 34% of Germans report increased interactions.
“Retailers are learning how to scale their support operations during the busy holiday shopping season. Offering more robust self-service options, in addition to using automated technologies and modern channels like messaging, enables them to scale and maintain steady customer satisfaction scores without increasing costs,” continued Crawford. “As our data reflects, digital customer service is moving the needle and helping brands scale, especially during busy times like the holidays. Yet brands need to make the move to digital-first and start automating in order to deliver on consumers’ expectations of on-demand support.”
The study also found:
- Telecoms and airlines are viewed as providing poor support: 39% of survey respondents (including 40% of British consumers) report that the telecommunications industry is the worst for customer service, followed by airlines at 20%. British respondents were a bit of an outlier, with financial services coming in with the second worst service at 18%, followed by airlines at 16% of respondents.
- Baby Boomers appear more willing to give customer support some slack, with 20% reporting they do not feel any industry has terrible service, compared to only 16% of Gen X, 10% of Millenials, and 8% of Gen Z. While being the generation most likely to believe no industry offers terrible service, Boomers are also the generation least likely to report service is improving, with only 28% believing this to be the case.
Helpshift will release a full report in the coming weeks featuring these insights in addition to more data showcasing the impact of automation on customer service from both the consumer survey and the analysis of its own customer data.
Helpshift’s next-generation digital customer service software enables B2C brands to scale their support while offering differentiated experiences through phone, web, in-app, email and messenger app channels. Helpshift’s innovative asynchronous messaging model across these channels gives people back their time, keeps conversations in context and allows humans and automations to work together to solve problems faster. The Helpshift platform embeds knowledge and AI to let customer service organisations best utilize a mix of automated service, self-service and human-assisted service. Serving over 450 businesses worldwide, including Virgin Media, Playdemic and Supercell, Helpshift is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices around the globe. To learn more about Helpshift, visit helpshift.com and follow @helpshift on Twitter.
Helpshift performed a survey between July 21-August 13, 2019 of 2,353 consumers across the United States, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany and France. Additionally, Helpshift aggregated and anonymised data from more than 75 million customer service tickets since November 2018 to contribute to these findings.
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