Half of consumers (50 per cent) say they wouldn’t be willing to pay more to receive good customer service and just a fifth (21 per cent) say they would be willing to pay over 10 per cent more. That’s according to a new consumer survey conducted by Enghouse Interactive.
Yet, in a separate survey commissioned by Enghouse, 85 per cent of IT professionals working for UK organisations said they think customers would be willing to pay more to receive good customer service. 25 per cent of this survey sample even said they thought customers would be willing to pay up to 30 per cent more to receive this and 11 per cent said up to 40 per cent more.
Judith Schuder, VP Marketing EMEA at Enghouse Interactive, said: “It shows the difference in attitude that still persists between many businesses and their customers today. Some organisations may see an opportunity to monetise great customer service but today’s consumers increasingly think service excellence should be a given. It is critically important to them but they believe it is what businesses should be doing. If they don’t, they will likely vote with their feet and leave.“
In that sense, the customer experience is increasingly the key differentiator that businesses need to pay attention to. When consumers were asked what is the biggest influence on their purchasing decisions, ease of doing business came in at 26 per cent, well ahead of quality of goods/services (20 per cent).
Organisations have a very different perspective though. According to IT professionals, quality of goods and services has the biggest influence on customers’ purchasing decision (35 per cent). This is followed by good price (18 per cent) and ease of doing business (13 per cent).
While businesses are bringing on new channels, change is not always keeping up with consumer preferences. Just 18 per cent of consumers said that they wanted email to be the most prevalent customer service option organisations would offer them in two years’ time. Yet it is expected to be the channel most used by business in 2024.
Schuder added: “There is clearly still a disconnect between what organisations are offering in terms of communications channels and a customer experience and what consumers actually want and expect. With customer service increasingly a key differentiator, businesses will need to close that expectation gap quickly to stay ahead of the competition.”