Customer service is far more important even than price or product extras when it comes to choosing a telecommunications supplier.
This is one of the findings of a recent pan-European survey that tracked customer preferences. it reveals that subscribers rate commitments to better service as more important than discounts by a two-to-one margin.
Commitments to improving customer service levels are also more important than offering extra product incentives, according to the survey of customer service requirements of more than 4 000 European telecoms subscribers.
The survey comprehensively charts sentiment toward customer service among telecoms consumers in key European economies and also reveals how changing consumer preference and behaviour is redefining the rules for telecoms customer service operations.
The survey was undertaken online by YouGov and commissioned by eGain Communications Corporation.
In contrast to previous research into the sector, customer service experiences of telecom providers overall were rated very positively, with less than 5% of respondents citing their most recent experience as poor.
Among a range of many other specific findings, the research also found ‘talking to a human being’ (18,9%) as only the fifth most important customer service priority, and recorded a high degree of preference for online communications methods such as live web chat.
Key findings include the following:
* Customer loyalty can be better won through commitment to service levels than by introducing special offers/incentives on products.
* Respondents stated that commitments to faster (53,7%), more consistent and personal (38,1%) and multichannel (41,2%) customer service would make the most difference to them. Only 24% placed ‘more special offers’ among their top three preferences (only 14% in Germany).
* Providing access to customer service via ‘any conceivable communications method’ such as online self-service, telephone, chat, email and SMS was more important to French (47,3%) and German (44,4%) respondents than British (35,5%).