Report: Companies think they’re handling customer service better than they really are

Report: Companies think they’re handling customer service better than they really are

phone-875488_640How would you rate your company’s customer service on a scale from 1 to 10?

How would your customers rate your service?

If your business is anything like the businesses in this recent Pegasystems, Inc survey, those numbers aren’t going to match up.

Pegasystems surveyed 1,000 consumers and business decisions makers in retail banking and telecommunications / broadband in regard to customer service.

66% of companies who responded said they had a deep understanding of their customers and their needs but only 24% of telecom customers and 41% of banking customers agreed.

We see a similar gap when it comes to the speed of the customer service response. 60% of businesses said their representatives respond quickly every time. Only 27% of telecom customers agreed and more than half of the banking customers also felt the need for more speed.

The biggest complaint from customers is that the companies they do business with don’t listen to them when they express their needs. Predictably, the business leaders in the this survey said that listening to their customers was a top priority. Clearly, someone is dropping the ball, somewhere.

The result of all this dissatisfaction is a desire to switch to another provider. 27% of retail banking customers and 38% of telecom / broadband customers said they’d likely switch providers within the year.

On the business side? An expected churn rate of 18%.

In addition to, or maybe because of the disconnect between businesses and customers, business leaders appear to be moving in the wrong direction. Both banking and telecom respondents said they were investing in the use of social media as a customer service channel. (60% of respondents ranked it as one of their top 3 priorities). But less than 1% of customers surveyed said they prefer to use social to resolve a customer service issue. By far, they preferred the telephone or in-person.

The most telling fact in this whole survey is this:

74% of business decision makers admit their customer service initiatives are primarily focused on ‘getting the basics right’ even as consumers demand more advanced personalized experiences.

The days when a customer only had one choice of bank, TV repair shop and phone company are over. If the “basics” is the best you can do, your customers will find someone who can do it better. In 2015, it’s time to get personal.

For more information, download the Moments of Truth Telecom or Retail Banking report from Pegasystems.