Finance and utilities have been rated the best sectors for customer services, according to consumer research from cloud-based contact centre solution providers Magnetic North. The findings reveal that the highly regulated sectors come out top in delivering more positive experiences, despite regularly coming under criticism.
The research, revealed in the report ‘Converting customer experience into revenue’, is based on the views of 1000 UK consumers. When asked to compare buying experiences across multiple market sectors, including utilities, phone, TV and broadband, clothing, travel, home improvement, entertainment and groceries, it found that 60% of consumers rated the finance sector as good or very good when it came to customer service. Utilities came in second place with 58%.
The worst-rated sector for customer service is home improvements, with only 43% of consumers rating them as good or very good. Other sectors scored as follows: food (57%), travel (57%), electronics (55%), entertainment (51%) and fashion (48%).
The survey also revealed that consumers are more likely than average to use the phone to make purchases from companies in the utility or finance sectors, perhaps indicating that traditional channels such as voice are performing better than newer channels when it comes to positive customer service.
The report also reveals some of the common consumer frustrations and experiences that will impact whether consumers choose to do business with a company again. The following experiences are likely to lead customers to buy again: short hold times when calling (78%), a company providing the information a consumer is looking for without being asked (74%) and being given the opportunity to feedback to the business on the service received (66%).
Commenting on the research, David Ford, Managing Director of Magnetic North, said: “The customer experience landscape has changed. Customers now hold the power and they won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere if brands can’t meet their expectations. Businesses will have to adapt to becoming more customer-centric in order to stay competitive.”
“Negative experiences are resulting in customers abandoning purchases – this is costing UK brands billions each year, and with our research revealing that 92% of consumers have had a bad customer experience, no brands can afford to be complacent. But counter to that, brands that can deliver exceptional customer service have an opportunity to drive greater loyalty, recommendations, and gain an edge over their competition.”
The Magnetic North report ‘Converting customer experience into revenue’ is available for free download now.