Verint-Commissioned Research Reveals Superior Customer Service Beats Price in Indian Market

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Service beats price – only 26% of consumers in India believe price is more important than service

INDIACSR News Network
NEW DELHI: Verint Systems Inc today announced results from a consumer insights survey conducted by Ipsos, a global market research organization, on the state of customer service in the Asia Pacific region. In the survey of more than 5,800 consumers across six countries—including India ,China, Hong Kong,  Japan, Australia and Indonesia—consumers revealed that most have experienced poor customer service, and surprisingly, have low expectations of receiving great service.

Magazine on CSR in India
Magazine on CSR in India

The research was conducted online by Ipsos with 5,819 respondents aged 16 and over in six countries. The survey was carried out across a nationally representative sample of consumers in China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, and Australia in July 2013. The survey data has been weighted by age, gender and region to help ensure it represents a national mix of respondents.

Key findings paint a common picture of poor customer service, frustrated consumers with low service expectations, an increased rate of sharing positive or negative experiences online to a wider audience, and a willingness to place a greater value on customer service than price.

Low Service Expectations Provide Opportunities to Delight the Customer

The Verint Consumer Insights study revealed that the percentage of consumers that experience poor customer service is high across all surveyed industries in Asia Pacific: financial services (51%), utilities (51%), hotel and travel (51%), retail (59%) and telecoms (64%).

Specifically in India, the percentage of consumers who have experienced a service problem within the past six months ranges from 90% in the utilities industry to 95% in the financial and telecommunication industries.

Indian consumers also rank the highest in the survey in using emotions to get what they want (36%), getting angry when companies make mistakes (68%), and calling support helplines for better service (58%).

With survey results suggesting that consumer expectations of customer service are low, companies that can improve their customer experiences are well positioned in today’s market to gain significant business advantage over the competition. Verint’s Impact 360® Workforce Optimization™ and Voice of the Customer Analytics software can help by capturing and sharing intelligence across the entire organization. This not only allows a company to deliver a more consistent, customer-pleasing experience, but also helps avoid over and understaffing and drive down costs, identify trends, and use the “voice of the customer” to drive strategic decisions on products, services processes, and more.

Customers Value Service Over Price

In addition, the study found that consumers in all countries—including emerging markets where there is a common “price is king” perception—place a premium on good customer service, with only 23% of consumers valuing price over service.

Specifically in India, only 26% respondents feel that price is more important than service, while 49% of the respondents feel that service is more important.

Consumers Share More Frequently Online

The study also validates that consumers are using multiple communications channels when sharing their good or bad service experiences. While traditional channels—such as phone, in person and email—are typically used to share with family and close friends, rising social channels like Facebook, Twitter and blogs are reaching even wider audiences. Reinforcing this, survey results revealed that 57% of Indian consumers will share their experiences on social media, blogs and leave comments on company websites with 57% using social networking sites (e.g., Facebook); 26% use micro-blog sites (e.g., Twitter); and 35% will share experiences on blogs.

In India, more consumers expressed their desire to share positive rather than negative experiences at a rate of 43% for positive experiences compared to 41% for negative experiences. In effect, companies that can deliver a superior customer experience have an army of customer ambassadors positively increasing their brand awareness into the market via social channels.

“The research points to an increasing propensity among consumers to share positive feedback, experiences and interactions,” comments Ady Meretz, president APAC, Verint. “Companies that can proactively deliver a superior customer experience by listening and acting on the voice of the customer can gain competitive advantage in the market. Verint’s Voice of the Customer Analytics can help identify trends and capture feedback across a variety of channels, helping them take a proactive and responsive approach to customers’ wants, needs and expectations.”

Why the Poor Service Experience?

This research also identifies two main drivers of poor consumer service experience: taking too long to resolve problems (21%) and unknowledgeable staff that can’t help (20%).

Additionally, consumers who didn’t have their problems resolved in the first contact were less satisfied than those that spent more time with service representatives working through issues without having to call back or visit again. For instance, in the retail sector, the study found that if customers had to call back to solve their problems, satisfaction dropped another 10%.

Other factors leading to a poor service experience from the survey included: waiting too long to be serviced, receiving rude or unfriendly service and experiencing inflexible procedures.

For more information about the Asia Pacific Verint Consumer Insights research results, visit our blog.

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