Does customer service influence the business?

What customers actually expect from companies - infographic

With all the euphoria for new technologies such as chatbots, companies should not forget their customers and their needs. A current study shows what is important when it comes to good customer service.

Good customer service is a demanding task, especially if it is to be carried out across channels. Banks and savings banks do not always do well. The bank blog presents current studies on this important topic.

Three out of four consumers want human communication when interacting with companies, rather than technical gimmicks. Many customers are even willing to pay a higher price for better service. This is the result of a current study by the consulting firm PwC for which around 15,000 people in twelve countries, including Germany, were interviewed.

Customers expect friendly service instead of perfect technology

"Technology shouldn't replace service, it should improve it"
Nikolas Beutin, PwC

48 percent of respondents think that friendly service is the most important factor for a positive customer experience. In case of doubt, only 32 percent would choose the provider with the better technology. Around half of the survey participants believe that most companies still have room for improvement in terms of customer experience.

For a perfect customer experience, however, both a technological and a human component are required. Companies should therefore carefully check whether, for example, they replace telephone customer advisors with chatbots. According to the authors, it is better to first think about how the consultants can be put in a position to solve customers' problems quickly and easily with appropriate technological support. It depends on how the problem is solved and how it is done.

Customers expect human closeness

According to the study, 75 percent of customers want more human interaction again when they communicate with a company. 48 percent of respondents think that friendly service is the most important factor. And for 55 percent of customers, employees have the greatest influence on their service experiences.

Important for banks and savings banks: 75 percent of their customers can be influenced by positive experiences in future financial decisions. However, only 55 percent say their expectations will be met by the financial sector.

The following is an overview of the three most important results of the study:

Great value for a positive customer experience

For three out of four respondents, the customer experience plays a decisive role in the purchase decision - and is therefore the most important criterion after price and quality.

Higher prices thanks to a positive customer experience

43 percent of those surveyed are willing to pay a higher price if everything works smoothly when interacting with the provider. For 42 percent, friendly interaction alone would be worth a premium.

Companies could - depending on the country and industry - enforce up to 16 percent higher prices if they create a perfect customer experience. In addition, there is a higher level of loyalty and a significantly greater willingness on the part of consumers to disclose valuable data.

Low customer tolerance for mistakes

Companies should be wary of service failures. For 60 percent of customers, just a few bad experiences are enough to turn them away from a company. In the banking industry, at 75 percent, even significantly more customers see this.

The experience mainly depends on five factors:

  • Speed,
  • Efficiency,
  • Convenience,
  • Friendliness and
  • Competence.

Only then do “first-class technology” and “simple billing” follow.

In Germany, areas in which negative customer experiences have the greatest influence on purchasing decisions are unfriendly service (75 percent), poor product quality (73 percent), high prices (65 percent), poor data protection (64 percent) and boring customer experience (59 percent).

The customer experience counts - infographic

The customer experience is crucial. The following infographic gives an overview of important study results:

The experience is crucial: this is how good service works.

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