Customer Service Expectations Survey and Statistics

Gladly Team

Read Time

7 minute read

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Our Customer Service Expectations Survey is back again this year, chock full of valuable customer insights and statistics that you can use to better understand your customers.

Where Do Gladly’s Customer Service Expectations Come From?

Every year, Gladly conducts a nation-wide survey of adult consumers (aged 18+) to find out what it is consumers like, want, or would prefer to change about customer service. Because it’s important for us, as a customer service platform designed around customers, to know how we can make Gladly better suit those needs and wants. And it’s important for companies as well, so you know what to do to provide your customers with great service. Download the Survey and Findings Now.

About Our Customer Service Reports and Statistics

Each year, we use the research from our nation-wide survey to create a statistics report to highlight emerging trends in customer service. You can find the most recent customer service expectations research reports here:

  • 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey
  • Support Channel Use and Preferences in Customer Service
  • Statistics On The Value of Fast and Personalized Customer Service
  • Customer Experience Expectations That Drive Revenue

Customer Service Expectations

Customer service expectations have changed with three major themes emerging: (1) the quality of service directly affects a company’s revenue, (2) expectations around having multiple channels have increased, and (3) personal service matters more to customers than speed.

  • The quality of service directly affects revenue

Consumers will buy more from companies that provide great service. They’ll also pay more for those products. And they’ll evangelize these companies to friends, family, and even strangers on the Internet. These byproducts of great service all result in direct gains to a company’s bottom line.

On the flipside, however, consumers are just as likely — and in some cases more likely — to punish a company for poor service. In fact, 68% of the respondents said they would pay more for a product from a company which had a strong record of good customer service.

  • Expectations around having multiple channels have increased

The best companies today recognize how important is is to provide customers their choice of channel to communicate with them.

But more than choice of channel, consumers also expect their experience using and switching between those channels be seamless as well. They want, and expect, continuity when they move from one channel to the next, which means not having to repeat their previous interactions each time they reach out.

And while customers have welcomed newer self-service options like FAQs and chatbots, they still hold these options to the same high standards that they do the human options that they use. We found that of the customers who used FAQs and chatbots, more than 50% were disappointed with their experience.

  • Personal service matters more than speed

While consumers value fast service, we found that a higher number valued personalized service more.

At the end of the day, consumers are human. And as humans, they value having their individuality recognized. They want the companies they buy from to remember what they purchased, to follow up with them, and even greet them by name.

Yet most consumers don’t feel like recognized by the companies they buy from. Of the customers polled, 61% feel they’re still treated like case numbers — not people — by the companies they buy from.

Importance of Customer Experience Statistics

Customer experience statistics are important for establishing performance benchmarks. By understanding the different customer service and experience statistics, you can uncover areas of improvement for your operations.

Great Customer Service Statistics 2018 – To Date

With an emphasis on the customer experience, you’ll find that customer service statistics from 2018, 2019, and onwards trend to faster response times, and more personalization. Here are some great customer service statistics.

  • 30% of customers said that having their choice of channel is what made a great experience.
  • 54% of customers said they’d rather spend the day in wet socks than repeat themselves.
  • 75% of customers are more likely to purchase if given personalized recommendations.
  • 69% of customers said they feel treated like a ticket, not a person.
  • 77% of customers would return for great customer service, not marketing campaigns.
  • 62% of customers switched to a competitor with better customer service.

Social Media Customer Service Statistics

Social media is fast-becoming one of the most important channels for customer service. Learn about some of the statistics that show the value in social media customer service.

  • Consumers will wait up to 35 minutes to hear back from a service agent on social media.
  • Gen Zers are almost as likely to use social media (54%) as they are phone (56%) and email (58%).
  • Social media customer service chat messaging has increased by over 6% since 2017 (email has decreased by 18%).
  • 69% of consumers also said that they’d champion the brand to friends and family, and on social media and review sites.

Powerful Customer Service Experience Expectations and Statistics

  • Consumers will wait less than 1 minute to hear back via live chat.
  • Consumers expectations for email response times are 3-4 hours.
  • Customer expectations for response time by phone is 5 minutes.
  • 62% of customers believe it is very important that they do not repeat their previous interactions.
  • 76% of consumers also expect that if they used multiple channels in a single interaction (eg. sending a text while talking on the phone), agents should be able to view and reference that new communication immediately.
  • Gen Zers are the only generation that uses email (58%) more than the phone (56%) to interact with companies.
  • The average consumer interacts with customer service about 1-5 times a year, giving companies limited, but valuable, opportunities to make a lasting impression.

Final Thoughts: Customer Service Expectations

And we also have best-selling author and customer service expert Shep Hyken return this year, to share his advice on how to turn customers into a company’s biggest brand ambassadors. Because customer service needs and expectations today aren’t just about solving problems anymore — it’s part and parcel of a company’s sales effort and marketing strategy.

Companies today are realizing that the technology, people, and processes they’ve developed over the last 20 years may not be enough to help them address how customer needs have developed up to this point. The data in this survey should help arm these service leaders with the information they need to evolve, and keep up-to-date with what it is their consumers want; otherwise they risk losing them to a company that will.ey

For the inside track on what your customers love — and what they don’tread the full report.

Mike McCarron is VP of Customer Success at Gladly, where he helps empower customer service teams to be more productive and deliver a consistently positive experience to their customers. Before Gladly, Mike was part of the executive team at MobileIron, where he helped grow the Customer Success team from 2 members to 125. With over 15 years of hands-on experience at the likes of Vontu, Symantec, Connectify, Kana, and Booz Allen Hamilton, Mike brings an invaluable wealth of leadership and experience to both Gladly’s executive and Customer Success team.

About Gladly

Gladly is a customer service platform for digitally-focused B2C companies who want to maximize the lifetime value of their customers. Unlike the legacy approach to customer service software, which is designed around a ticket or case to enable workflows, Gladly enables radically personal customer service centered around people to sustain customer loyalty and drive more revenue.

The world’s most innovative consumer companies like Godiva, JOANN, and TUMI use Gladly to create lasting customer relationships, not one-off experiences.

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