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With the Institute of Customer Service reporting that customer satisfaction in the U.K. is at its lowest level since 2010, it has never been more important for U.K. brands and organizations to know as much as possible about consumers and their growing expectations for service across channels.

A newly-released 2015 U.K. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report published by Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Parature, from Microsoft shows customer service is becoming a key differentiator in both customer acquisition and retention, with 97% of consumers surveyed saying that customer service is important (somewhat – 38%, or very – 59%) in their choice of, or loyalty to, a brand.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of the 1,000 U.K. consumers surveyed for the report said that they have stopped doing business with a brand or organization due to a poor customer service experience, noting top frustrations including:

  • being passed between agents (23%)
  • having to contact a brand or organization multiple times for the same issue (23%)
  • not being able to resolve their issue or find information online (16%)
  • being kept waiting on hold (15%)
  • automated IVR/the inability to reach a live agent (13%)
  • and impolite service agents (9%).

With more than 60% of U.K. consumers saying that their customer service interactions now begin online, expectations for support on the web are also increasing; 92% of those surveyed for this year’s report say they now expect a brand or organization to offer a self-service customer support page or portal, and 43% have a more favorable view of the brand or organization if its online self-service offering is mobile responsive. 

The 2015 U.K. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report also takes a look at current social customer service expectations, showing that 65% of consumers now expect a response from a brand or organization within 24 hours when they post or tweet in regard to service.

With more than half of the U.K. consumers surveyed saying that they have higher expectations for service now than they did a year ago, and a First Direct research survey showing that U.K. brands are losing approximately £7.7 billion annually due to poor customer service, consistent delivery of satisfying service across channels has never been more important.

Download the 2015 U.K. State of Multichannel Customer Service Report to learn more about consumers’ current views and expectations around customer service including:

• the most frequently used customer service channels

• assisted service channel preferences

• top customer frustrations

• the most important aspects of a satisfying customer experience

• the growing expectations for customer service in 2015

• and more.