Quantifying the Business Impact of Customer Service in Singapore

Customers regularly experience issues. In every industry a customer will inevitably contact customer service to voice a problem. “I’ve bought your product but it doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do.” “I ordered the item last week and still have not received it.” “I am unable to access my account.” “I keep getting transferred from one customer service rep to the next.” “Nobody is letting me know the status of my issue.” While customer service issues are common, it is how and when your company resolves these customer service problems that will profoundly impact future purchases.

To successfully meet customer demands for more immediate, personalised attention, companies are leveraging new technologies that go beyond traditional voice and email. By implementing such channels as live chat, social media, mobile apps, text messages, self-help solutions, and more, companies can now be ready wherever and however the customer wants.

But just how meaningful are these experiences on consumer buying behaviour? How long does the effect last? Do new technologies and recent cultural shifts significantly change the way experiences are evaluated? What expectations do customers have for the channels they use to contact support? And, do good interactions have the same long-term impact of negative interactions?

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The following report, sponsored by Zendesk, is based on an online survey of 502 consumers in Singapore who have received online or phone customer service. The research goal was to better understand the Singaporean customer expectations and to quantify the impact of customer service on business results. Questions were asked about past experiences with customer service, as well as preferences and opinions.

Key Findings

  • Customer service directly impacts long-term revenue
    • 89% say a quick response to an initial inquiry is important when deciding which company to buy from
    • 94% say bad customer service negatively changes buying behaviour, and 86% say good customer service positively changes buying behaviour
    • 47% report continued negative changes to their buying behaviour two years or more after a bad customer service experience
  • Excellent customer service requires a wide range of channels
    • Customer preferences include a broad mix of communication channels to contact customer service

◦ For simple service requests, 61% prefer email, 60% prefer phone, 50% prefer live chat, 39% prefer text, and 26% prefer social media

◦ For complicated service requests, 76% prefer phone, 50% prefer email, 43% prefer live chat, 24% prefer text, and 18% prefer social media

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  • 30% say multiple communication options are part of a good experience
  • 36% say not being able to contact customer service with their preferred channel contributed to a bad experience
  • Channels other than email and phone are gaining popularity for customer service
  • 73% have used live chat, social media, or text for customer service in the past year
  • 46% of Gen Z prefer social media for simple inquiries, although only 18% of Baby Boomers say the same
  • 98% have used an FAQ, help centre, or other self-serve online resources
  • Service channels must be coordinated to be effective
    • 89% will use a different method if they don’t receive a response from their initial inquiry
    • 56% waited less than an hour before trying another contact method if they haven’t heard back
  • Expectations for good customer service are changing
    • 75% expect customer service to be faster now than it was five years ago
    • 50% expect less complicated interactions
    • 37% use more self-serve customer service options

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