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Customer service is a major source of frustration for consumers

A worldwide survey of 7,000 people highlights the poor perception of customer service by consumers. In Europe and the rest of the world. Fortunately, technological solutions are available to marketers who want to improve their flailing customer service. This survey by CM.com is entitled “Customer Service: When Emotions Take Control”. It could serve as a roadmap for businesses that are keen to improve their customer experience in 2023. Visionary Marketing interviewed Pierre Garrigues, CM.com Country Manager for France, to dissect the survey and collect his recommendations.

CM.com survey shows customer service is a major source of frustration for consumers

CM.com’s survey on customer service shows clearly that consumers aren’t really impressed with the quality of service they are getting from their favourite brands.


Disclosure: This podcast is produced in partnership with Ecranmobile.fr and CM.com.


Dutch company CM.com has interviewed 7,000 consumers worldwide. Looking at the numbers, barring a few exceptions, one finds that frustration is overwhelming with regard to consumers’ interactions with brands, regardless of the geography.

CM.com’s customer service survey shows that each interaction between a customer and a brand is a decisive moment in their relationship

A consumer braces for impact before contacting his customer service

Customer Service Interactions: Good and Not So Good Vibes

“Consumers rarely contact the customer service department of a product or service provider to congratulate them. Consumers mostly contact support for questions about product quality, last mile delivery issues or product dissatisfaction,” Garrigues says.

This leads to rather negative emotions, as the study confirms.

41% of consumers are already irritated when they contact customer service

The study reveals that more than a quarter of respondents ask a relative to contact customer service on their behalf. This tells you how much of an ordeal that must be!

Contacting customer service? Not quite a picnic yet for most consumers. The good news is one third of them seem to be happy!

“This survey shows how difficult it is to interact with a brand and get answers to the questions you have,” he says.

With this customer service survey, CM.com lays bare the emotions associated with each support contact channel. Live chat and point of sale (face to face) stand out in this panel. It is also worth noting that consumers view social media and messaging apps positively. Except for the French who don’t seem to use social for customer service. Some regional differences still exist apparently.

Consumers’ love affair with omnichannel marketing

Brands need to do away with the old-fashioned ticketing approach

“If you contact a brand using the ticketing method, by email, phone and social networking, you will probably receive three different answers to the same question,” he points out.

The siloed approach to ticketing must be banned according to Pierre Garrigues of CM.com

Above all, one shouldn’t lose the human touch: “Tools are not designed to be natively connected to all available platforms and means of communication,” Pierre Garrigues went on. “Customers should never be likened to a number, they should be identified by their first and last names, purchase and relationship history with the brand.”

Different Channels in Different Geographical Areas

“Viber, WhatsApp, Telegram for Asia-Pacific and WeChat allow omnichannel contact and exchange,” continues Pierre Garrigues. They are popular in most areas but some of these channels are unknown in some places. This is the case for Viber in France, Garrigues explains.

“The penetration rate of Viber in France is 4%, vs. almost 40% in Eastern European countries,” explains Pierre Garrigues.

International companies must therefore choose the most appropriate mix of channels. Depending on the geographical area, the age or idiosyncrasies of the customers they are dealing with.

Businesses need to adapt to their customers’ preferred channels, rather than impose theirs

What’s in store for customer service in the future?

“The current period and the turbulent times we are going through will naturally force brands to better serve their existing and loyal customers,” predicts Pierre Garrigues.

CM.com’s customer service survey shows that almost half of the surveyed customers had rather change brands after a bad customer experience if the product or service they purchase is worth over €500.

These customers are the primary source of revenue and results for the company. It has too often been neglected at the expense of customer acquisition marketing or awareness campaigns.

This will not last. Customer service used to be a low priority but it is bound to come to the forefront in the future

“Some brands have already taken steps towards this change. Omnichannel marketing allows for the collaboration between the customer service and customer acquisition departments. Brands should implement this change for the benefit and experience of their customers as well as their employees,” says Garrigues.

Community management can no longer make do with moderating comments on a social networking page

This survey is the living proof that customer service needs a major overhaul.

Download CM’s survey of 7,000 consumers in the UK, the US, China, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and France.

Yann Gourvennec

Yann Gourvennec created visionarymarketing.com in 1996. He is a speaker and author of 6 books. In 2014 he went from intrapreneur to entrepreneur, when he created his digital marketing agency. ———————————————————— Yann Gourvennec a créé visionarymarketing.com en 1996. Il est conférencier et auteur de 6 livres. En 2014, il est passé d'intrapreneur à entrepreneur en créant son agence de marketing numérique.

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Yann Gourvennec

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