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Statistics customer service

These days, more and more commerce takes place digitally: without any human interaction or a physical location to go to when something is wrong. That's why customer service is so important when generating trust amongst (online) customers.

It’s also why many businesses are having to rethink their CX experience, including understanding the many types of digital interactions available, plus the ones that are the most suitable for their customers. 

So, to up your CX game as the digital world continues to develop, we’ve compiled the top customer service stats for the year ahead… 

General customer service stats and facts:

- According to Zendesk’s 2023 CX trends worldwide study, 76% of consumers have expressed satisfaction with the services they’ve received over the past year.

- 79% of consumers think customer service data should prioritise personalisation.

- Plus, they agree that personalisation increases customer retention.

- From our own research, we found that close to half of web shops offer chat as a channel.

- The 2022 UK Customer Satisfaction Index found that more customers consider the rating and quality of CX as a deciding factor when it comes to where they want to shop.

- While the majority of online stores offer multiple customer service channels, our research found that email and phone still reign supreme in terms of what’s provided to consumers. We contacted 75 of the biggest British ecommerce shops to uncover the status of their current services:

- 89% of stores use email as the most offered contact channel

- 86% use phones the most

- 34% offer online chat as their main source of contact

- 32% use social media

- 9% use WhatsApp

- On average, 2.6 contact channels are provided by the stores.

- 45% offer two CX channels for customer queries.

- 24% offer three channels.

- Only 2% of the included stores provide all five of the above options.

- There’s a peak in cart abandonment between 7 and 11pm, which means there’s room for customer service improvement.

- In 52% of cases, customer service was only available during the classic 9 to 5 working hours. (This could be the reason for the cart abandonment stats.)

- In terms of chatbots,  43% of the ecommerce stores analysed offer chat as a contact channel on their website. 44% go with manual chat with live agents, and 21% use automatic chat. Only 35% of stores offer a hybrid chat option. This means the chatbot will resolve the easier queries and agents will deal with the more complex issues.

What about customer response times?

Different generations have different ideas when it comes to response times. Should your brand encompass a variety of generations or your key demographic is just one, it’s important to make sure you cater to your audience in a way that suits them the most. 

Let’s look at two different generations so you can get an idea of how to work your response times in their favour:

Gen Z

Gen Z is the current youngest generation with adult members. Anyone born between 1997 and 2013 is classed as part of the group. Their characteristics encompass authenticity, relevance, and direct communication, not to mention being super pragmatic. 

They’re more likely to question authority and rules than their older peers, mainly because they’re self-equipped and used to finding out what they need on their own.

Also, they’re digital natives, meaning they’d rather head to TikTok than Google for info. So if you’re looking to appeal to this gang, marketing-wise, you’d be missing a trick not utilising the power of social media. 

Here are the Statista percentages of acceptable response time for customer service in the US according to Gen Z themselves: 

  • The same day: 20%
  • The next day: 25%
  • Within three days: 37%
  • Within a week: 14%
  • Within two weeks: 4%

Gen X

This bunch are a lot older than the ones above. In fact, they’re circa 1965 to 1980, which means a lot of them are typically the parents of Gen Z. 

Personality-wise, your average Generation X will be independent, resourceful, and have a good work-life balance. They’re also likely to take liberal views on social issues.

(While Gen Z is obviously more technology savvy than Gen X, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking some of the traits overlap.)

So, how do their preferred response times differ in customer service? Using data from Statista, they reported:

  • The same day: 23%
  • The next day: 36%
  • Within three days: 33%
  • Within a week: 6%
  • Within two weeks: 2%

Gen X seem to be slightly more urgent to receive communication, and obviously, only a small percentage will stand for a response within a week or more.

While the numbers aren’t massively different between the two generations, Gen Z may be more relaxed about not receiving an instant reply because of their digital aptitude. (They basically have the knowledge and resources to figure things out for themselves - and do so quickly.)

*Based on the research we conducted with the ecommerce shops, we found the actual wait times for the two biggest channels: phone and email. (The customer service departments of the 75 stores were called between 9am and 5pm.)

- In 30% of cases, an agent answered the phone within 40 seconds.

- 10% of UK ecommerce shops took five minutes or longer to answer the phone.

- 74% of customers expect an email reply within one day, and 32% received one within an hour.

- 66% of ecommerce stores replied via email within a day.

- 2% took a week or longer to respond or never responded to an email query at all.

Importance of mobile-friendly customer service

- According to Statista, 59% of worldwide internet traffic comes from mobile.

- Plus, in the US, 50% of ecommerce sales occur via mobile devices as per Sweor. Not to mention 38% of people admit to not engaging with a site if the layout or content is unattractive.

- This ties in with Statista’s findings - 57% of customers won’t recommend a company that has a poorly designed mobile website. 

- 50% of customers won’t even visit a website if the mobile version is bad, even if they’re a fan of the business.

- 84% of customer-centric companies are focusing on improving their mobile experience for customers - if you’re using a CMS platform (something like HubSpot, WordPress, Squarespace, etc.) there are mobile optimisation tools that can help you with critical aspects like text size and spacing.

- On mobile sites, the most common complaints from customers are load times, navigation and site search.

Human customer service is vital

Digitalisation and human customer service are both important when it comes to achieving great 21st-century CX. However, it’s critical for companies to still recognise the human touch, and treat it with just as much importance despite the advancements in tech. (Technology has proven itself to be efficient, but it can often fail in terms of the emotional depth good quality customer service requires.)

- 64% of consumers feel businesses have lost touch with the human side of customer service and experience.

- Almost 40% of customers have stated they want “better human service.”

This refers to the empathy, flexibility and respect that human customer service officers can provide. It’s also the way people want to be treated when they’re spending money on a product or service, and it’s a bare minimum that’s expected amongst consumers.

Step up your customer service game

Don’t neglect the power of good customer service, people. 2023 is all about upping your game, and - basically - not giving consumers a reason to complain. From optimising your mobile sites so that they’re running smoothly to taking the human side of CX seriously, digesting all of these stats and implementing them into your own business plans will help you to understand how you can make a positive change to your company.