80% Consumers Expect Better Customer Service During COVID-19, Finds Hiver Research

New research from Hiver highlights how consumers perceive customer support in 2020, and the cost of sub-par customer support

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more than 80% of consumers in the US expect customer support to get more empathetic or more responsive, and in some cases, both, according to the findings of the report Customer Support Through The Eyes of Consumers in 2020 published by Hiver.

Hiver, a global customer service solution, surveyed 1000 respondents in the US to give organizations insights into consumer expectations regarding customer support in 2020.

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According to the research, 48% of Gen Z and 35% of millennials consider email the best way of getting in touch with customer support. As many as 66% think a company’s customer service reputation is a critical factor while making a purchase decision.

When asked what they find most annoying about dealing with support teams, 50% of consumers said ‘explaining their problems multiple times to support agents’.

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“A few years back, you could make customers feel taken care of by sending automated replies and just by convincingly stating that you are doing your best. That does not fly anymore, as customers are more educated and better connected. Throw a pandemic in the mix, and you have very high customer service expectations,” said Niraj Ranjan, CEO and Co-founder, Hiver.

“This is why the focus has to be on building relationships and the key to that lies in looking at customer happiness as everyone’s responsibility,” Niraj added.

The survey found that consumers today have a very low tolerance for sloppy customer service. A whopping 89% of participants said they will likely make their poor support experience known to friends, family, and colleagues by either ‘advising against buying the product’ or ‘leaving negative reviews on social media’.

The report also notes that 30% of consumers will not give brands another chance after just one bad customer service experience.

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