When you contact customer service with a problem you expect, well… service. However, according to new research from the Qualtrics XM Institute, only 57% of consumers in Singapore say their issues were fully resolved during their most recent interaction and just 20% were fully satisfied with the wait time.
Drawing on insights from more than 1,100 consumers in Singapore, the study shows the extent to which frontline customer service teams are impacting customer satisfaction, spend, and trust in the country. Even after a long wait to talk to an agent, empathy can go a long way toward saving an interaction and retaining trust, says the report.
“Having personable and helpful service agents is among the most impactful drivers of customer satisfaction, and findings show how for many customers these capabilities make a bigger positive difference than wait times,” Qualtrics XM Institute said in a release adding that “Across Asia, customers who have their issues fully resolved during the interaction are 3.5 times more likely to be satisfied with their overall experience, and those happy with the wait time are 2.4 times more likely to be satisfied.”
Reinforcing the importance of customer experience, the study also found customers who are satisfied with the overall customer service experience are more likely to make additional purchases, more likely to trust the organization, and more likely to recommend it.
Better enabling frontline agents is a significant opportunity for organizations to improve their customer experience in Singapore, with 35% fully satisfied with the helpfulness of the agent, 27% fully satisfied with the knowledge they demonstrate, and 26% fully satisfied with the empathy demonstrated.
“Organisations in Singapore are risking more than 5% of their sales because of poor customer experiences, demonstrating the need for enabling and empowering frontline teams to resolve issues in a timely and effective manner,” said Bruce Temkin, Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute..
“At a time when consumers are more careful about their spending, have unprecedented choice, and increasing expectations, organisations that fail to address this gap risk losing their customers forever.”
A preference for human-to-human interactions
The study also added that over half of people in Singapore prefer to complete common customer service interactions using one of three human interaction channels, reinforcing the need to better enable frontline employees.
The most preferred channel is meeting with someone in person (27%), with 21% choosing to speak with someone on the phone. Self-serve options via mobile (25%) and computer (20%) are also prominent, demonstrating the need for organizations to ensure a consistent and integrated experience across all channels.
Consumer preferences are also impacted by the type of interaction, with talking to someone on the phone the overwhelming choice when trying to resolve billing issues (45%) or receiving technical support (35%).
In contrast, self-service options are the most popular choice for transactional engagements like booking airline tickets (72%), getting a status update on orders (64%), and scheduling a medical appointment (57%).