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Must-know customer service statistics of 2023 (so far)

by Khoros staff | May 22, 2023

How well does your brand understand its customers?

Many brands need to be more in touch with their audience and can often be overly optimistic about customer engagement and the frequency of customer service issues. We commissioned Forrester Reporting to survey over 200 enterprise brands and more than 1,000 customers to investigate the disconnect between buyers and brands.

Our survey found that businesses underestimate how often customers have poor experiences by an average of 38%. Check out main takeaways and statistics from the study below, and download the full Getting To Know Your Customers report to see other customer experience insights.

We’ve also provided some additional customer service statistics from external research to help inform your contact center strategy.

What does customer service look like in 2023?

Customer service includes any efforts made by a company to assist their customers, including help finding and using their products and services. As customer needs change, so do businesses' methods to service those customers.

What customer service looks like today differs from what it looked like ten, five, or even one year ago. Modern customers demand fast and efficient customer service interactions, asynchronous support across other agents and communication channels, and for brands to take a proactive service approach with social monitoring.

Why is great customer service important?

Your business could face real consequences for lagging behind the competition in customer experience.

In our survey, 42% of people with a poor customer care experience felt disappointment, 43% were unhappy, and 41% reported anger from the exchange. These poor experiences have lingering effects, as 67% of customers have told others about the bad experience, and 65% have switched to a different brand.

By comparison, 43% of customers are more likely to buy something from a brand after a good customer service experience.

If you want to build customer loyalty, not lose it, ramping up your brand’s customer service efforts is the best place to start. Customers overwhelmingly agreed (83%) that they feel more loyal to brands that respond to and resolve their complaints.

Fellow business owners might urge you to level up your customer care sooner rather than later. 73% of brands expect the number of inbound channels to increase in the next one to two years, and 53% also believe the same for outbound channels. Ensure you’re ahead of the curve by checking out our top insights based on the latest customer service statistics and our customer care solutions.

Top four customer service insights of 2023

1. Brands do not understand their customers

Brands waste resources by focusing on things that aren’t important to customers. Instead of taking the time to identify what aspects of engagement are most important to customers, brands have opted to put resources into all methods which have the potential to boost engagement. For example, our survey found that 44% of brands believe recommending products based on preferences or past purchases is important, but only 11% of customers felt the same.

Rather than trying to do everything that could boost engagement, brands should focus on addressing the most critical customer service issues. In our survey, responding to questions promptly with personalized and helpful answers was the most commonly noted quality of customers’ favorite brands (75%).

2. Customers want to feel connected to brands

Simply showing products and offers isn’t enough to build strong customer relationships — they want to interact. Our survey found that 79% of consumers had a valuable experience from participating in an online chat with a customer service rep. Additionally, 75% of consumers found value in interacting with other customers in a brand’s online community, and 67% found value from messaging a brand through their mobile app.

Customers want to feel like they’re making a human connection with brands, which is supported by the fact that 75% of consumers prefer an authentic human voice over a perfectly crafted brand message. This means brands should toss out the script and focus on genuine, personalized responses.

Brands may be hesitant to adopt this policy because it appears more costly and time-consuming, but improving the customer experience can increase sales. Our survey shows that 68% of customers will spend more money with a brand that understands them and treats them like an individual.

3. Fast customer service is essential

According to the survey, almost two-thirds of US online adults believe that valuing their time is the most important thing a brand can do to provide them with a good customer experience.

Customers can communicate with brands through seemingly endless channels, but interacting across them can be time-consuming and frustrating. This is because communicating with a brand across multiple channels typically means customers must repeat themselves or wait for a customer service rep to gather prior conversation data from another internal team.

In our discussions with brands, 77% said they struggled to create a cohesive journey across channels and devices. This is especially troubling because 62% of customers want to be able to engage with brands across multiple digital channels, and 77% of consumers want brands’ internal teams to communicate and collaborate so they don’t have to repeat themselves.

According to the survey, 79% of consumers want to receive a fast response when contacting a brand. Furthermore, brands should take additional steps to ensure customers can seamlessly communicate across their favorite channels without jumping through a million hoops.

4. Increase sales and get happier, more satisfied customers

When making a purchase, 83% of customers cited good customer service as their most important criterion for deciding what to buy (not including logistical considerations, such as products and prices offered).

Brands can increase their sales by taking the time to understand customer needs. Our survey discovered customers value personalized responses in a timely manner above all other factors.

Download our full report for more insightful customer service statistics and visit our platform page to learn how Khoros can help your brand engage with customers in meaningful ways across all of their favorite channels with marketing, care, and community solutions. For additional insights, check out some of our external research below with stats from around the web.

Non-survey customer service stats for 2023

Outside of our survey, we’ve also compiled a few other eye-catching customer service statistics to help inform your 2023 care strategy:

  • Businesses can increase revenues between 4%-8% above their market when prioritizing better customer service experiences (Bain & Company)

  • 72% of brands think they can use analytics reports to improve the customer experience (Deloitte)

  • For each poor customer experience, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for the negative exchange (Glance)

  • Only 15% of consumers will forgive a bad experience from a brand whose customer experience was rated “very poor” by the customer. On the other hand, almost 80% of consumers will forgive a bad experience if they rate the service team as “very good.” (Qualtrics XM Institute)

  • 78% of customers have changed their mind about a purchase due to a poor customer experience (Glance)

  • Customers are 4x more likely to switch to a competitor if the issue they're having is service-based (Bain and Company)

  • Organizations document up to 70% reductions in call, chat and/or email inquiries after implementing a Virtual Customer Assistant. (Gartner research)

  • 81% of customers want more self-service options (CXM Today)

  • 62% of business leaders believe that more customers are making buying choices based on customer experience than they were in 2018 (Forrester)

Interested in improving your brand’s customer service? Learn how our platform can help you modernize your contact center and deliver exceptional experiences.

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