More Than Half Of Consumers Feel Service Is An Afterthought

Annual Zendesk Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report highlights CX as an imperative for growth

Zendesk is landmark annual research has highlighted the potential for businesses to drive business success with a focus on customer experiences as more than two thirds of consumers (70%) report making purchase decisions based on the quality of customer service they receive. The global Zendesk (NYSE: ZEN) Customer Experience (CX) Trends Report 2022 shows that a majority of businesses surveyed agree there is a direct link between customer service and business performance. Despite this, many consumers (54%) feel customer service is an afterthought for businesses, indicating a gap between consumer expectation and company actions.

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Melton Littlepage, Chief Marketing Officer at Outreach

“Customers are noticing this gap and voting with their business – and that’s perhaps the clearest signal to businesses that change needs to happen, and fast.”

“Businesses cannot afford to take a transactional approach to their relationships with customers. Customer service is now a key differentiator, but this year’s report reveals gaps exist between expectation and delivery,” said Adrian McDermott, Chief Technology Officer, Zendesk. “Customers are noticing this gap and voting with their business – and that’s perhaps the clearest signal to businesses that change needs to happen, and fast.”

The report draws on input from customers, agents, customer service leaders, and business leaders from across 21 countries. Data was also gathered from more than 97,500 Zendesk customers who participated in the company’s Benchmark program. As customers call out increased expectations and the readiness to switch after just one bad experience, the need to close the gap between these expectations and the customer experience delivered have never been more urgent. The opportunity cost for many is nothing short of revenue loss and missed opportunities for growth.

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Melton Littlepage, Chief Marketing Officer at Outreach

Consistent Truths – Customer Service Can Drive Growth

Nearly three quarters of those surveyed (73%) see a direct link between customer service and business performance, with two thirds (64%) estimating that customer service has a positive impact on business growth. The opportunity is not simply to deliver a single solution-based interaction with the consumer, but to use that point of engagement as an opportunity to deepen the relationship. Customer engagement is up 14% from the previous year, representing more opportunities to upsell or cross-sell to happy customers.

This cuts both ways though, and the insights reveal that customer expectations can drive or stifle growth plans. As consumers spend more online, a majority say that their customer service expectations have increased in the past year. Channels play a big part in meeting these increased expectations and particularly, being where the customer is. However almost half the companies surveyed did not have a strategic plan for customer service over the immediate to medium term.

Key insights:

  • 61% of consumers say that their customer service expectations have increased over the past year
  • 90% of consumers say they are willing to spend more with companies who personalize the customer service experience
  • Only 54% of companies report having a three-year strategic plan for customer service
  • 89% of consumers say they are willing to spend more to buy from companies that offer them the chance to find the answers they need themselves
  • Companies are evenly divided between those who still view CX as a cost centre and those who believe it is a revenue-generating engine for growth

Marketing Technology News: MarTech Interview with Melton Littlepage, Chief Marketing Officer at Outreach

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