80 Customer Service Statistics: 8 Lessons to Fuel Growth in 2019 and Beyond

Success isn’t built on customer support statistics alone but transforming data into actionable lessons. Discover the numbers that matter and exactly how to apply them.

A great product at a fair price isn’t enough to succeed. The abundance of choice in today’s saturated marketplace means that…

People expect remarkable service, support, and experiences across all stages of the buyer’s journey.

Of course, it’s one thing to acknowledge that reality. It’s another thing entirely to make service an engine of growth in your day-to-day business.

  • How do customers define satisfaction?
  • Where do they turn for support (channels)?
  • What are good versus bad experiences?
  • When do they want self-service?

Customer service statistics gathered from a host shows how common customer service approaches have drastically changed over the years and will continue to change in the future.

Overall, good service earns customer loyalty and is critical to your company’s success. Understanding how people conceptualize customer service and what the current and future trends makes support an engine of growth.

Download all 80 stats and lessons here

80 Customer Service Statistics and 8 Lessons for Growth [2019]

01

Conceptualizing Customer Support

How do customers conceptualize customer service, what support means to them, and how it impacts business?

In the stats

More than two-thirds of marketers say their companies compete mostly on the basis of customer service.

Gartner

The Data Point

87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a consistent experience.

Zendesk

Evolution

70% of customers say understanding how they use products and services is very important to winning their business.

Salesforce

In the stats

74% of people are likely to switch brands if they find the purchasing process too difficult.

Salesforce

The Data Point

While 72% of businesses say improving customer experience is their top priority, only 63% of marketers prioritize implementing technology investments that will help them reach this goal.

Forrester

Evolution

75% of brands report that they are measuring customer engagement, but cannot define what it is

Esteban Kolsky

Lesson 1

Gaining better understanding of customer expectations can direct customer service strategies. Customers place high value on consistency, authenticity, and knowledge.

In general, marketing teams aren’t capitalizing on customer service as much as they could be—making it easier for those who do, to get ahead.
02

Customer Support Channels

How many support channels should a company have and which channels are the most valued by customers?

Throwing Numbers

81% of retail businesses say they depend on email for customer acquisition, while 80% rely on it for customer retention.

Emarsys

The Data Point

85% of small and medium business Twitter users say it’s important for businesses to provide customer service using the network.

Twitter

Evolution

A third of internet users find voice/phone support the most annoying customer support channel.

Aspect

In the stats

On average, customers stay on hold for 11 minutes before hanging up a support call.

NewVoiceMedia

In The Stats

More than six in ten U.S. consumers say that their go-to channel for simple inquiries is a digital self-serve tool such as a website (24%), mobile app (14%), voice response system (13%) or online chat (12%).

American Express

Black Belt Machine Learning

45 seconds is how long on average customers are willing to wait for a response via a live chat.

Comm100

In the stats

55% of customer requests for service on social media are not acknowledged.

Esteban Kolsky

Black Belt Machine Learning

84% of social media service interactions are escalated to other channels.

Esteban Kolsky

Black Belt Machine Learning

Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, compared with 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.

Aberdeen Group Inc

Black Belt Machine Learning

61% of customers have not been able to easily switch from one channel to another when interacting with customer service.

Aspect

Lesson 2

In the era of connected customer experience, omni-channel support gives customers the flexibility and convenience they are looking for.

However, more than multiple support channels, customers crave fast, easy, and personalized service experiences that they are familiar with. That’s why more customers are seeking support through social media and messaging apps that they use on a daily basis.
03

Customer Support Agents

What qualities and skills should you look for in an agent, and what do support agents need in order to do their job as best as they can?

In The Stats

42% of service agents are unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications.

Aspect

The Data Point

65% of companies provide effective tools and training to their agents to gain trust with their customers.

Peppers and Rogers Group

Evolution

Over 35% of customers expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative on any channel.

Zendesk

In The Stats

42% of customers are put off by rude or unhelpful customer service staff.

NewVoiceMedia

Evolution

72% of customers blame their bad customer service interaction on having to explain their problem to multiple people.

Zendesk

In the stats

Speed of response (89%), speed of resolution (89%), and friendliness of representative (82%) are seen as the most important aspects of the customer service experience, regardless of channel.

Zendesk

In the stats

More than 80% of customer chat sessions can be resolved by a chatbot.

Accenture

Black Belt Machine Learning

The Average Annual Turnover Rate for a customer service representative (CSR) was 29% in 2016.

ContactBabel

Black Belt Machine Learning

75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.

ServiceNow

Throwing Numbers

About one in three people (30%) say the most important aspect of customer service is speaking with a knowledgeable and friendly agent.

Microsoft

Lesson 3

Training, resources, and knowledge are critical for enabling agents to provide excellent support. But some soft skills—like friendliness, confidence, and a positive attitude—are hard to teach. These differentiate great agents from the average.
04

Good Customer Experiences

How does good customer experience impact customers’ behavior? How does customer engagement help drive business growth? Are people satisfied with the service they receive?

In The Stats

After a positive customer experience, 69% would recommend the company to others, and 50% would use the business more frequently.

NewVoiceMedia

The Data Point

Customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.

Harvard Business Review

Evolution

8 in 10 Americans (81%) report that businesses are meeting or exceeding their expectations for service, compared to 67% in 2014.

American Express

In The Stats

Highly engaged customers buy 90% more frequently, spend 60% more per transaction, and have 3 times the annual value compared to other customers.

Rosetta

Evolution

Highly engaged customers are 6x more likely to say they would try a new product or service from the brand as soon as it comes out.

Rosetta

In the stats

24% of consumers continue to seek out vendors two or more years after a good experience.

Zendesk

In the stats

55% of customers become a customer of a company because of their reputation for great customer service.

RightNow

Black Belt Machine Learning

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.

Forrester

Black Belt Machine Learning

75% of people would return to a company with excellent service and 56% would recommend it to family and friends.

Zendesk

Throwing Numbers

83% of consumers report that if companies could provide customers with better live or in-person customer service, it would have impacted their decision to switch provider.

Accenture

Throwing Numbers

A 10% increase in a company's customer satisfaction score leads to a 12% increase in trust from customers. Institute of Customer Service

Institute of Customer Service

Throwing Numbers

Measuring satisfaction on customer journeys is 30% more predictive of overall customer satisfaction than measuring happiness for each individual interaction.

McKinsey & Company

Lesson 4

“Good” customer service is the norm, companies have to invest in creating exceptional experiences for their customers in order to get ahead. Making customers happy not only increases their loyalty, but turns them into advocates for your brand.
05

Bad Customer Experiences

What makes customers tick and what can you do to avoid them taking their business elsewhere?

In The Stats

89% of consumers begin doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.

Oracle

The Data Point

79% of consumers who shared complaints about poor customer experience online had their complaints ignored.

Oracle

Evolution

59% of 25-34-year-olds share poor customer experiences online.

NewVoiceMedia

In The Stats

41% of consumers who had a very bad experience start spending less with the company.

Temkin Group

Evolution

67% of customer churn is preventable if the customer issue was resolved at the first engagement.

Ameyo

In the stats

5% of customers say they would go as far as informing the media of a bad customer experience.

NewVoiceMedia

In the stats

80% of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service. When the same question is asked from customers, only 8% of people think these same companies are really delivering.

Bain & Company

Black Belt Machine Learning

Once a provider loses a customer, 68% of consumers will not go back.

Accenture

Black Belt Machine Learning

Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn.

Esteban Kolsky

Throwing Numbers

49% of consumers say that feeling unappreciated is their number one reason for switching to a different solution.

NewVoiceMedia

Throwing Numbers

67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for churning.

Esteban Kolsky

Throwing Numbers

The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience.

American Express

Throwing Numbers

30% of consumers say not being able to reach a real human is the most frustrating part of a bad customer service experience.

Microsoft

Lesson 5

While unhappy customers usually do complain, most just leave. It’s really difficult to regain the business of a customer who churns. Providing better service from the get-go is better than trying to do damage-control later on.
06

The Finances Of Customer Support

Is customer service a good predictor of brand loyalty, and how much of an impact does customer support really have in terms of revenue?

In The Stats

86% of consumers are willing to pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience.

RightNow

The Data Point

An estimated $41 billion is lost by US companies each year following a bad customer experience.

NewVoiceMedia

Evolution

A 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company's profitability by 75%.

Bain & Company

In The Stats

Three out of four (74%) consumers say they have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences.

Oracle

Evolution

As a group, millennials are willing to spend the most for great care (21% additional).

American Express

In the stats

65% of companies are able to successfully upsell or cross-sell to existing customers.

Esteban Kolsky

In the stats

Acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one.

Harvard Business Review

Black Belt Machine Learning

84% of organizations working to improve customer service report an increase in revenue.

Dimension Data

Black Belt Machine Learning

86% of consumers are willing to pay more for an upgraded experience.

Esteban Kolsky

Throwing Numbers

A moderate increase in Customer Experience generates an average revenue increase of $823 million over three years for a company with $1 billion in annual revenues.

Temkin Group

Lesson 6

In an oversaturated market, it’s best to bank on customer service as a predictor of customer loyalty.

Companies that invest in a good support not only gain through increased loyalty and more successful upsells, but also through new customers who are willing to pay more for a better onboarding experience.
07

Customer Self-Service

Do customers prefer being supported by agents directly or finding answers to their questions on their own?

In The Stats

86% of B2B executives prefer using self-service tools for reordering, over talking to a sales representative.

McKinsey

The Data Point

Close to half (48%) of CRM managers and professionals say they have web or mobile-based self-service capabilities.

Information Today

Evolution

About half (45%) of executives with web or mobile self-service capabilities report measurable reductions in phone inquiries and 39% report less email traffic.

Information Today

In The Stats

73% of customers want the ability to solve product/service issues on their own.

Aspect

Evolution

More than half (53%) of consumers think it is important for them to resolve their own product/service problems rather than rely on customer service representatives.

Zendesk

In the stats

55% of consumers fall in love with a brand when that brand offers "easy access to information and support".

RightNow

In the stats

By adding self-service, a typical utility could see $1-3 million in annual savings.

Accenture

Black Belt Machine Learning

90% of consumers have used self-service systems to find answers to their questions.

Nuance

Black Belt Machine Learning

51% of customers prefer technical support through a knowledge base.

Econsultancy

Throwing Numbers

91% of customers would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs.

Social Media Today

Lesson 7

Adding self-service support can mean huge wins for companies, especially considering customers’ growing preference for messaging and chat support. People generally enjoy discovering answers themselves and value clear information which is easy to find.
08

The Future of Customer Experience

What does the future of customer service look like, and what should companies be prepared for?

In The Stats

By 2020, 85% of the customer-company relationship will be managed with no human interaction.

Hubspot

The Data Point

By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

Walker

Evolution

63% of marketers say that social media will become the top customer support channel by 2020.

V12

In The Stats

69% will use online communities as a support channel by 2020.

CXM World

Evolution

25% of Customer Service Operations will use virtual customer assistants or chatbot technology by 2020.

Gartner

In the stats

It’s predicted that by 2020, the average person will have more conversations with bots than with their spouse.

Gartner

In the stats

By 2020, chief marketing officers will own the entire, end-to-end customer experience.

The Economist

Black Belt Machine Learning

91% of retailers plan to offer order visibility across channels within the next three years.

Boston Retail Platforms

Black Belt Machine Learning

By the end of 2020, 81% of retailers will deploy unified commerce platforms, to support commerce across the enterprise’s stores, mobile users and the web.

Boston Retail Platforms

Lesson 8

The value of quality customer service is only continuing to gain in importance. As customer expectations grow, there is an increasing need to constantly develop and revise online support tools.

Companies that are willing to do this are most likely to succeed.
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