Customer Service Around the World…Getting Better or Worse?

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By Teresa Allen, Global Service Guru

A recent global customer service study by Microsoft looked at customer service around the world and how customers perceive their interactions.

Without exception, a majority of customers around the world have higher expectations of service than in past years.  Consumers aged 18-34 showed the highest percentage increase in expectations at a whopping 70%.  In other words, being nice to customers is not important only for your grandmother!  Having been raised in an era of service customization, it is likely that younger generation’s expectations may continue to exceed those of past generations.  They are also more likely to stop doing business with a brand they perceive to have inferior service, and this is a global phenomenon with only Japan and Germany falling below a 60% likelihood.  It is of note that Japan stands out as the country with the most appreciation for proactive contact regarding customer service issues at a strong 80%.

Another trend is the rise of the use of social media platforms for customer service encounters.  Globally 59% of consumers have a more favorable view of brands that respond to customer service questions or complaints on social media.  Not surprisingly that favorable rating soars in the 18-34 age category at 70%.

It certainly is good news that 66% of consumers around the world think customer service is improving.  Of course, that means that nearly a third think it is actually getting worse.  Those on this end of the spectrum cite the belief that customer service is NOT getting easier.  This may point to the fact that certain segments of the world’s population do not like or feel comfortable with the high level of service automation in today’s world.

No matter the country, customers want and appreciate the ability to provide feedback on service, yet globally indicate they are often not given that opportunity.  Even more concerning is the perception by 49% of the global population surveyed, that even when customer feedback is requested and given, action is rarely taken.

Customer service in today’s world is continually changing.  For organizations wanting to build a brand based on customer service, the challenge is not an easy one.  Continually striving for improvement in the areas highlighted by the Microsoft State of Customer Service Global Report can help organizations compete in a highly competitive global marketplace!

Teresa Allen is a global customer service guru who is asked to share her expertise in publications and at meetings around the world.  For more insights on global customer service, visit her website www.AllenSpeaks.com