I recently published a report called How Consumers Research, Buy, And Get Service that looked at data from nearly 5,000 U.S. consumers. We asked consumers about the channels they use when researching, buying, and getting customer service. As part of the analysis, I compared the data to a survey that we did in late 2005. Here’s some of what we found:
- In-store satisfaction continues to dominate. In 2005, consumers were the most satisfied with in-store interactions for researching, buying, and getting service. The same is true in 2007. Satisfaction rates for in-store interactions also increased over the last two years, making the largest jump in customer service.
- Web site satisfaction increased, but only slightly for researching. Consumers were more satisfied with the Web for all three types of interactions in 2007 than they were in 2005. But the increase in satisfaction rates for research, was much lower than it was for buying or getting service.
- Email satisfaction is on the rise. For all three activities, consumers were considerably more satisfied in 2007 than they were in 2005. Satisfaction rates went up 10% for researching, 13% for buying, and 14% for getting customer service.
- Phone self-service remains a problem. In 2005, the satisfaction rates for phone self-service lagged behind most of the other channels. But the problem has actually gotten worse. While satisfaction rates have mostly increased for all channels over the last two years, consumers are actually slightly less satisfied with phone self-service for researching and buying.
The bottom line: Your front-line employees matter; treat them well.