Why consumers expect better customer service during COVID

by | Nov 9, 2020 | Public Relations

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, more than 80 percent of consumers in the U.S. expect customer support to get more empathetic or more responsive—and in some cases, both, according to new research from customer service solution Hiver.

The firm surveyed 1000 respondents in the U.S. to give organizations insights into consumer expectations regarding customer support in 2020. The findings of the report, Customer Support Through the Eyes of Consumers in 2020, reveal that two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) think a company’s customer service reputation is a critical factor while making a purchase decision.

In addition, 48 percent of Gen Z and 35 percent of millennials consider email the best way of getting in touch with customer support. When asked what they find most annoying about dealing with support teams, 50 percent of consumers said ‘explaining their problems multiple times to support agents.’

Why consumers expect better customer service during COVID

“A few years back, you could make customers feel taken care of by sending automated replies and just by convincingly stating that you are doing your best. That does not fly anymore, as customers are more educated and better connected. Throw a pandemic in the mix, and you have very high customer service expectations,” said Niraj Ranjan, CEO and co-founder of Hiver, in a news release. “This is why the focus has to be on building relationships and the key to that lies in looking at customer happiness as everyone’s responsibility.”

Why consumers expect better customer service during COVID

The survey found that consumers today have a very low tolerance for sloppy customer service. A whopping 89 percent of participants said they will likely make their poor support experience known to friends, family, and colleagues by either ‘advising against buying the product’ or ‘leaving negative reviews on social media.’

Why consumers expect better customer service during COVID

The report also notes that 30 percent of consumers will not give brands another chance after just one bad customer service experience.

Download the full report here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter