Customer service has always been an urgent priority for companies of all sizes, but in 2021 it’s more important—and more complex—than ever. Today’s consumers demand a fully individualized, wrap-around customer experience: from the research stage to purchase and beyond. Customer experience while shopping and customer support when things go wrong are both equally vital. Getting either one wrong can have serious consequences for your bottom line.

Digital technology such as AI, digital media and self-service portals, social networks, and near-universal mobile device adoption have created a vast shift in how customer experience is delivered and how customer service and support are managed. Customer experience expectations have never been higher, and demands on support teams have proliferated with the number of channels they must now manage.

Sound overwhelming? It can be a challenge to keep up with the intricate requirements of today’s customer service landscape, but there’s a shining bright side to all of this: your customer experience and customer support offer a true point of differentiation. This is how you stand out from your competition and win a loyal, engaged, and evangelical customer base.

The statistics around customer service paint a compelling picture of where the field stands today and offer a glimpse at what’s around the corner. We’ve gathered the best of them together. We’ve broken them down into relevant categories so that you can find the facts you need to bring customer experience front and center in your strategy.

Share these statistics with your team, use them to start conversations with your colleagues, study them, and take them to heart. Understanding what your customer needs and expects from their experience with you is the key to achieving your targets and ultimately, growing your business.

Why Good Customer Service Matters:

  1. Businesses that prioritize customer experience have a revenue increase of 4-8% higher than their competitor. [Source: techjury]
  2. A $1billion company can generate an average $823 million revenue increase in three years with only a moderate enhancement in customer experience. [Source: Temkin]
  3. Increase customer retention rates by just 5% and profit increases anywhere from 25% to 95%. [Source: Bain & Company]
  4. On average, companies that work to improve their customer experience can see their revenue increase anywhere between 10-15%. [Source: Bare International]
  5. 85% of consumers churn because of poor service that could have been prevented. [Kolsky]
  6. Every year, US businesses lose $1.7 trillion because of bad customer service. [Source: GetFeedback]
  7. 64% of consumers want brands to connect with them. [Source: Sprout Social]
  8. Customers who rate a company as delivering a “good” customer experience are 34% more likely to purchase more, and 37% more likely to recommend. [Source: Qualtrics XM Institute, ROI of Customer Experience]
  9. 72% of consumers say that they will share a positive experience with a brand with 6+ people.[Source: Esteban Kolsky]
  10. 45% of customers withdrew their negative evaluation of a company in light of an apology, whereas only 23% of customers withdrew their negative evaluation in return for compensation. [Source: The Nottingham School of Economics]
  11. 70% of American consumers say that they have spent more money to shop with a business that delivers great service. [Source: American Express]
  12. 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. [Source: Super Office]
  13. Millennials care more than any other group about great customer care and are willing to spend 21% more to get it. [Source: American Express]
  14. 53% rate quality as the most important factor when making purchases compared to price. [Source: FirstInsight]
  15. 54% of customers have higher expectations for customer service today compared to one year ago. This percentage jumps to 66% for consumers aged from 18 to 34 years old. [Source: Microsoft]
  16. 56% of customers stay loyal to brands which “get them.” [Source: smallbizgenius]
  17. 75% of customers surveyed are more willing to share personal data with a brand they trust. [Source: Forbes]
  18. Companies that excel at customer experience have 1.5x more engaged employees than companies with poor customer experience. [Customer Contact Mind Xchange]

How Bad Customer Service Hurts:

  1. 33% of Americans say that it only takes a single instance of poor service for them to consider switching companies. [Source: American Express]
  2. It takes 12 positive experiences to counteract just 1 negative experience with a company. [Source: Business Insider]
  3. A service-related problem with a company makes a customer 4x more likely to buy from a competitor than if it was a product- or price-related problem. [Source: Bain & Company]
  4. 40% of consumers start buying from a competitor because they hear about their reputation for excellent customer service. [Source: Zendesk]
  5. Over 50% of US consumers have abandoned a planned purchase or transaction because of bad service. [Source: American Express]
  6. Feeling unappreciated by a company is the #1 reason customers say they switch away from products and services. [Source: New Voice Media]
  7. 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service. [Source: American Express]
  8. 45% of consumers share bad customer service experiences via social media. [Source: Dimensional Research]
  9. 13% of customers will tell 15 or more people about a negative experience with a brand. [Source: ThinkJar]
  10. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers will make a complaint to the company about their experience. The other 25 churn and look for another vendor. [Source: ThinkJar]
  11. It can cost anywhere from 5 to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain a current customer. [Source: Harvard Business Review]
  12. Poor customer service loses American companies lose over $62 billion annually. [Source: HelpScout]
  13. 74% of customers are likely to take their business elsewhere if they find the purchasing process too difficult. [Source: HelpScout]
  14. 70% of consumers say that technology has made it easier than ever to switch brands and suppliers. [Source: Salesforce]

Omni-channel Support Statistics:

  1. 69% of American adults online say that they shop more with businesses whose online and offline customer service is consistent. [Source: Forrester]
  2. 64% of customers expect to receive real-time assistance regardless of the customer service channel they use. [Source: Zendesk]
  3. Over 35% of customers expect to be able to contact the same customer service representative on any channel. [Source: Zendesk]
  4. According to 87% of consumers, brands need to be doing more to provide a seamless experience for their customers. [Source: Zendesk]
  5. 73% of customers think that brands pay more attention to generating sales across all of their multiple channels than they do to providing integrated customer service across those channels. [Source: Zendesk]
  6. More than 89% of companies see customer experience as a key factor in driving customer loyalty and retention. [Source: invesp]
  7. The more complex the customer service issue (for example payment disputes or complaints) the more likely customers are to seek out a real person on the phone (40%) or a face-to-face interaction (23%) as opposed to online chat. [Souce: Comm100]
  8. The most commonly used digital customer service channel is still email, with 54% of consumers using email for customer service issues in the last year. [Source: Forrester]
  9. Millennials choose live chat as their preferred support channel, with 52% saying they would rather converse over text. [Source: Comm100]
  10. 67% of customers expect to use messaging apps to speak to businesses. [Source: Chatbots Magazine]
  11. 80% of consumers use social to engage with brands. [Source: Forrester]

AI and Automated Support Statistics:

  1. 34% of sales and marketing leaders believe that artificial intelligence will cause the biggest improvement in customer experience. [Source: Oracle]
  2. 47% of organizations are expected to implement chatbots for customer support services in 2021. [Source: Linchpin]
  3. AI augmentation will create $2.29 trillion of business value by 2021. This value is equal to 6.2 billion hours of worker productivity globally. [Source: Gartner]
  4. AI will power 95% of all customer interactions by 2025, including live telephone and online conversations. [Source: Servion Global Solutions]
  5. 30% of US customers said that they found customer service chatbots very effective at resolving customer service issues. 58% found chatbots somewhat effective, and 12% said that chatbots were not at all effective. [Source: Statista]

The Human Factor:

  1.  33% of customers are most frustrated by having to wait on hold. 33% are most frustrated by having to repeat themselves to multiple support reps [Source: HubSpot Research].
  2. 35% have lost their temper when talking to customer service. [Source: American Express]
  3. 68% of customers say that a pleasant customer service representative was fundamental to a positive experience. 62% said that a customer service representative’s knowledge or resourcefulness was the most important factor. [Source: American Express]
  4. 73% of customers say that the reason they fall in love with a brand is encountering friendly customer service representatives. [Source: RightNow]
  5. 72% of customers say that poor customer service is the reason they have to explain their issue over and over again. [Source: Zendesk]

Customer Self Service Statistics:

  1. 67% of customers prefer self-service over speaking to a company representative. [Source: Zendesk]
  2. 91% of customers would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs.  [Source: Zendesk]
  3. 89% of US consumers expect companies to have an online self-service support portal. [Source: Statista]
  4. 79% of US consumers say they have used a self-service portal for customer service. [Source: Statista]
  5. Knowledge bases such as FAQs are the most frequently used self-service options available today. [Source: Forrester]
  6. When reordering, self-service tools are preferred by 86% of today’s B2B executives over dealing with a salesperson. [Source: McKinsey]

Time Matters:

  1. 66% of adults say that the most important thing a company can do to offer a good online customer experience is to value their time. [Source: Forrester]
  2. More than half of all customers prefer to chat with someone in real-time and online, rather than call a company for support. [SuperOffice]
  3. Three-quarters of online customers expect help within five minutes. [Source: McKinsey]
  4. Over a third (37%) of consumers who use social media to complain or question brands expect to get a response in under 30 minutes. The report shows that the majority of respondents expect a response the same day via social media, with 31% wanting one in under two hours and 26% expecting to hear back in under four hours. In fact, only 6% don’t ever expect to get a response to a complaint made on social media. [Smart Insights]
  5. In 2017, 51% of customers said that the phone still offered the fasted resolution from customer service. Online chat was next at 23%, then web self-service at 5%, text message at 4%, and mobile app self-service at 3%. [Source: Statista]
  6. When customers contact a brand on Twitter, 53% expect a response within an hour. If they’re making a complaint, that number jumps to 78%. [Source: Lithium]
  7. When asked how long they were willing to be put on hold, about a third of respondents said they’re not willing to wait at all, 27.6% said 1 minute and only 4.1% said they’d wait as long it took. [Plum Voice]
  8. Customer expectations for chat response times are high, with average wait times of just 45 seconds. [Source: Com100]
  9. 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question. 60% of customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less. [Source: HubSpot Research]
  10. Seventy-three percent of customers say that time is a critical factor in how they determine a good customer service experience from a poor one. [Source: Hubspot]
  11. 64% of consumers say that they expect real-time assistance no matter which customer service channel they use. [Source: Zendesk]

Companies Must Invest in Customer Service:

  1. 62% of companies view customer experience delivered by the contact centers as a competitive differentiator. [Source Deloitte]
  2. Three-quarters of organizations surveyed by Gartner increased customer experience technology investments in 2018. [Source: Gartner]
  3. 46% of businesses surveyed by SuperOffice say their number one priority in the next five years is their customer experience. [Source: SuperOffice]
  4. 78% of customers have backed out of purchase due to a poor customer experience. [Source: Glance]
  5. The customer experience management market is estimated to be worth $14.9 billion by 2025. [Source: Markets and Markets]