What Do Consumers Value Most in a Service Experience?

As a customer experience professional, I am always interested in what customers value the most. If we get it right, we can successfully manage our resources, priorities and engagements to ensure we are providing the expected value to our customers and ultimately achieve our respective goals.

To that end, we conducted a study with consumers around the world earlier this year, “Customer Service Experience Study, Wave II“, and in it asked two key questions: “What do customers want in a great service experience?” and “What do companies and customers want from the technology behind that great customer experience?” The respondents were categorized as either “professionals” or “consumers” so we could easily contrast expectations from both sides of the equation. We also conducted a similar study in 2013 which allowed us to learn what changes in priorities have taken place over the last year. For this post, I am going to focus on the “consumer’s” perspective.

Customer Experience Study

Notable results provided by “Consumers”:
• “Timely response” is considered most valued in 2014. In 2013, “knowledgeable agent” was #1.
• When asked: “Which of the following are most frustrating when you contact a business or service provider.” Understanding the agent and condescending or demanding agent topped the list at 75%.
• When asked: “Of the issues you find very frustrating or somewhat frustrating, how likely are you to seek an alternative business or service provider?” Condescending agent was #1 at 62%.
• 64% have told their family or friends about an “exceptional experience.”
• 70% have referred the company based on an “exceptional experience.”

A simple summary of the feedback from the consumer’s perspective is that we need to provide a timely response with agents that are understandable and not condescending – and that if we get it right, it will likely lead to more business. A couple of additional findings that support this summary are outlined below:

• 74% of consumers would not pay additional fees for a higher level of service.
• 95% of consumers consider the organization’s customer service reputation when making purchasing decisions.

After reviewing this study, not only do companies need to get it right, but consumers are not willing to pay more for good service and they will likely look to take their business elsewhere if it is not provided. In my next post, I will summarize the response from the “professional’s” perspective as well as provide some insight on things you can do to better align what you provide to what customers value. In the meantime, please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas as well.

John Butson – Trying to “get it right.”

John Butson

John Butson

I joined Interactive Intelligence in January of 2002 and have been fortunate to be part of the most incredible company in the world. As director of the client success team, my primary goal is to ensure our customers are successful in deploying the Interactive Intelligence solutions – helping them to turn customer service into a competitive weapon. Prior to joining Interactive, I worked in sales at Mitel Networks for five years. Before joining Mitel, I held various engineering and management positions at KeyBank. I have a bachelor of science degree in administrative services from The University of Toledo and an associates degree in engineering technology from Owens Community College. I also served four years in the United States Marine Corps. I am passionate about the customer experience and am always looking for ways to improve the delivery to our customers. If you have ideas, please contact me.