Customer service has always been an urgent priority for companies of all sizes, but in 2019 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. For the most mind-blowing customer service statistics at a glance, check out our complete visual infographic here.

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. By 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the main differentiator between competitors. [Source: Walker].
  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. Companies which provide an excellent customer experience see their revenues grow 4-8% above the market. [Source: Bain & Company]
  5. Companies which deploy a thoughtfully crafted customer service program enjoy a 92% customer retention rate. [Source: Aberdeen]
  6. 84% of businesses which work to improve their customer experience report increased revenue. [Source: Dimension Data]
  7. 79% of consumers say that they want brands to demonstrate that they care before they will consider a purchase. [Source: Wunderman]
  8. 77% of customers would recommend a company to a friend after having a positive experience with them. [Source: Temkin]
  9. 72% of consumers say that they will share a positive experience with a brand with 6+ people. [Source: ThinkJar]
  10. 70% of unhappy customers are willing to forgive and shop with a business again if their problem is resolved. [Source: Glance]
  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. American consumers are willing to spend 17% more in order to do business with companies that deliver excellent service, an increase from 14% in 2014. [Source: American Express]
  13. Millenials care more than any other group about great customer care and are willing to spend 21% more to get it. [Source: American Express]
  14. When it comes to deciding where to shop, 64% of people rate quality of customer experience as more important than price. [Source Gartner]
  15. 73% of companies who scored “above average” Customer Experience maturity on the CX Competency and Maturity Assessment show better financial performance than their competitors, compared to 44% of less mature companies. [Source: Temkin]
  16. 70% of Americans say that a positive experience with a company means they’ll be more loyal. [Source: New Voice Media]
  17. 56% of consumers are willing to share their data in order to receive faster, more convenient service. [Source: Salesforce]
  18. Businesses which bring a concerted focus to improving their customer experience also end up boosting employee engagement rates by 20% [Source: McKinsey]

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 of 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. 51% of Americans say that they will never do business with a company again after having a negative experience. [Source: New Voice Media]
  8. 42% of consumers say that they respond to a negative customer service experience by submitting a negative online review or venting on social media. [Source: New Voice Media]
  9. 13% of customers will tell 15 or more people about a negative experience with a brand. [Source: ThinkJar]
  10. Only 1 out 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: New Voice Media]
  13. 75% of customers are likely to take their business elsewhere if they find the purchasing process too difficult. [Source: Salesforce]
  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. 75% of today’s consumers expect to receive a consistent customer service experience at every point of engagement, whether it’s over the phone, in person, online, or on social networks. [Source: Salesforce]
  3. More than 35% of customers say that expect to be able to speak to the same customer service representative on every 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. Companies who have the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies have an average customer retention rate of 89%, compared to just 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies. [Source: Aberdeen]
  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. In 2017, 35% of consumers said that they reached out to companies through social media channels, a significant increase from 23% in 2014 and just 17% in 2012.  [Source: American Express]

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. 80% of businesses say that they have already implemented or are planning to adopt AI chatbots as a customer service solution by 2020. [Source: Oracle]
  3. This year will see investment in AI increase by more than 300%. [Source: Forrester]
  4. By 2020, AI automation will manage 85% of companies’ customer relationships. [Source: Gartner]
  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. The #1 reason customers say they dislike calling companies is not being able to talk to a real person immediately. [Source: Newvoicemedia.com]
  2. 67% of customers get frustrated and hang up the phone when they can’t reach a customer service representative. [Source: Glance]
  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. 50% of customers say that it is important to be able to solve product or service issues by themselves without having to contact customer service. [Source: Zendesk]
  2. 60% of American customers say that their go-to channel for simple customer support inquiries is a digital self-service tool like a website, knowledge base, mobile app or automated phone or online chat. [Source: American Express]
  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. 64% of consumers would rather buy from companies which can meet their needs in real time. [Source: Salesforce]
  3. Three-quarters of online customers expect help within five minutes. [Source: McKinsey]
  4. Customers’ resolution expectations vary by channel – 59% of customers expect resolution within 30 minutes when contacting customer services by phone, 75% expect resolution within a day via email, and 52% expect resolution within a day via social media. [Source: Zendesk]
  5. In 2017, 51% 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. Customers will hold for an average of 11 minutes before hanging up but 41% say they hate calling companies because of being kept on hold. [Source: Newvoicemedia.com]
  8. Customer expectations for chat response times are high, with average wait times of just 45 seconds. [Source: Com100]
  9. B2B decision makers say that slow interactions with suppliers is their #1 pain point, mentioned twice as often as price. [Source: Temkin]
  10. 82% of consumers say that getting the problem solved quickly is the #1 factor in a great customer service experience. [Source: LivePerson]
  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. In 2018 more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations. Source Gartner
  3. 72% of businesses say improving customer experience is their top priority. Forrester
  4. 42% of customer service representatives can’t efficiently resolve customer issues due to problems with disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications. [Source: Forrester]
  5. The global outsourced customer experience market is estimated as 75.1BN USD in 2018, and is expected to rise to 82.6B by 2020. [Source: Statista]

Customer Service Statistics [Infographic]: