21 Customer Service Statistics: What’s Changed For 2021
Last Updated: February 26, 2021
Fact check: We’ve compiled this growing list of customer service statistics using first, second and third party data, including the mystery shopping of over 800 brands which we performed in June 2020, an exclusive webinar with customer service legend Shep Hyken in November 2020, interviews with other industry thought leaders, and third party data that our in-house analysts did their best to verify in 2021.
Do you remember a time when we had to wait just a little bit longer… for a takeout meal, for the arrival of an online order, or for a customer service email response?
7 Min Read
2020 was the year that solidified our transition to a completely “on-demand” world. So, what is today’s customer’s expectations for customer service? What is the cost of not meeting those expectations in 2021?
This living document is our curated list of the most eye-opening and relevant customer service statistics for 2021 including findings from our exclusive State of Online Customer Service study.
Jump right in to the stats below!
The NOW Customer: Statistics on our On-Demand World
“Most companies must realize that they are no longer competing against the brand that sells similar products. Instead, they’re competing with every other experience a customer has.”
Today’s customers are, on average, 16 percentage points more likely to use a given channel to communicate with companies than a company is to offer service on that channel. That means there’s a huge gap between what the customer wants and what organizations are delivering.
73% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good online customer service.
96% of customers no longer trust brands or advertising.
Takeaway: NOW Customers crave sincerity and are leaning heavily into their trusted network of friends, family, and influencers in efforts to weed out fake news.
65% expect customer service to be faster now than it was five years ago.
In a study of 800 online retailers, the brands that had the highest experience score answered emails in less than 15 minutes and chats under 30 seconds.
The NOW Customer is here to stay.
These customer service statistics paint a picture of the NOW Customer. Their expectations for speed are very high, and they strongly prefer to be met on the digital channel of their choice. Not winning the NOW Customer can result in major risks to your business.
The Cost of Customer Neglect
Did you know
For every one person who contacts support or leaves a response on NPS, there are 10 others you never hear from.
Takeaway: That’s 10 people who had an experience with your brand, and you have no idea who they are and whether or not they’re coming back.
Dollars & Cents
It is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
74% of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult.
One-third of consumers surveyed said they have experienced being ignored or “left hanging” by a retailer when they have had a request or inquiry.
After one negative experience, 51% of customers will never do business with that company again.
U.S. companies lose more than $75 billion annually due to poor customer service.
Americans tell an average of 15 people about a poor service experience, versus the 11 people they’ll tell about a good experience.
Did you know
Bad experiences make a longer impression. 46% remember bad experiences from two or more years ago. Only 21% remember good experiences.
The customer service statistics make one thing clear: Every connection with any customer is a revenue opportunity. Customer neglect is getting in the way.
Customer neglect has a severely negative impact on a business’s revenue, customer lifetime value, and opportunity cost. Neglect comes in all forms: Not meeting a customer on the appropriate channel, keeping restrictive business hours, or settling for “good enough” CSAT scores.
Customer Service as a Revenue Generator
“Customer service should be called something other than the ‘customer support center.’ It should be called the ‘customer loyalty center,’ it should be called the ‘revenue generation center,’ it should be called the ‘customer retention center.’ Because that’s what you do.”
Did you know
As a group, Millennials are willing to spend the most (21% additional!) for great customer care.
Customers who are engaged by a brand make purchases 90% more often, and spend 60% more per transaction than those customers who aren’t engaged.
Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.
Customers who feel an emotional connection with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and will recommend that brand 26% more than the average.
Customer experience (CX) is a new battleground for business. Understanding buying behavior, the cost of neglect, and the power of a great experience are critical for a business to survive and win the “NOW Customer.”
Today, our tolerance for waiting is rapidly waning, thanks to on-demand technology and the seemingly impossible customer service standards set by companies like Amazon and Netflix.
When your next best product or feature is copied within weeks or months, experience is everything. And the brand equity your company can build through phenomenal CX provides one of the few remaining competitive moats.
Stellar CX cannot be achieved without winning the Now Customer. These are your customers who are always “on” and expect immediacy in every experience they have, both online and offline. In short, it’s pretty much everybody (us included) who exists in today’s on-demand world.
While there’s a ton of risk associated with customer neglect… NOT neglecting customers has tremendous upside (engaging customer service is proven to unlock millions in potential revenue for our partners). Although the demands of the NOW Customers are high, they recognize great experiences and reward those companies with loyalty and spreading the word to other potential customers which is priceless.