The British Standards Institute (BSI) recently published some new research on attitudes to customer service in the UK and the good news is that people think that service is getting better. In fact the comparison from 2008 to 2013 is stark – in the earlier survey only 9.1% of consumers thought that customer service was improving compared to 22.9% now.
And the numbers work in the other direction too. In 2008 64% of consumers thought that customer service was getting worse and now just 29% feel the same way.
The BSI believes that social media is what has changed attitudes so dramatically. Not just the social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but also sites that feature reviews and opinion of customers, such as Tripadvisor for hotel and restaurant reviews.
Half of British consumers now check online reviews and information before making a purchase according to the BSI data and one in five has now used social media to make a complaint.
The information in this survey shows that customer service appears to be heading in the right direction, but it also emphasises the importance of getting it right. Customers are now very switched on and will research product information and check the opinion of other customers before ever making a purchase.
It is more important than ever for brands to consider the entire customer journey from initial research and reviews through to post-purchase comments and this journey will be across multiple channels – some online, some in person or in-store.
Photo by Mark Hillary licensed under Creative Commons