Customers' expectations for customer service have changed a lot in recent years. What was good customer service a few years ago can today already be perceived as cumbersome and old-fashioned. Figures from Facebook show, for example, that 56% of consumers would rather text with a company than make calls, and messaging apps have overtaken the number of daily active users on social media. Today, consumers expect customer service to be available instantly on their mobile phone and in chat format. Conversely, 86% of consumers are also willing to pay more to shop with good customer service companies, and companies with good customer service see, on average, a conversion rate that is 11% higher than comparable companies that do not prioritize customer service. Live chat, which is available during the payment flow, has increased the conversion by up to 45% as it helps the consumer to be able to get answers to questions about his order immediately.
“I do not know anyone who likes calling a business… We think you should be able to message a business, in the same way you would message a friend” Mark Zuckerberg F8 2016
The key benefits of chat-based customer service are that it is asynchronous, which means that one customer service employee can serve several customers simultaneously. At the same time, chat is very convenient for the consumer as he can do it via his mobile in parallel with other activities. A good chat experience is also characterized by being contextual and having a personal style.
Figures from McKinsey show that it costs companies an average of $ 10 per share. phone calls, while messaging and chat cost between $ 3 and $ 1 per call. customer service ticket. This is a very big financial saving for companies in offering consumers customer service via chat. The cheapest channel is actually not live chat, but "messaging" via SMS, which according to McKinsey costs only 1 USD per. ticket. At the same time, 9/10 consumers prefer to receive customer service via SMS.
Companies that have adopted SMS-based customer support are experiencing an average revenue growth of 25% and an increased profit margin of 8.6%.
Consumers 'expectations for customer service have increased a lot in recent years, and with social media and online review sites such as Trustpilot, the customers' influence has increased a lot.
Therefore, it is really unfortunate to see how bad debt collection companies are at providing good customer service. In fact, debt collection companies are the largest source of consumer complaints in the United States, where 27% of all complaints to the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) are from debt collection companies.
The effect of poor customer service during the debt collection process is huge. 50% of consumers change supplier if they have a bad experience with the company's recovery, and research shows that 30% of debtors are more likely to pay if they have a good customer service experience during the recovery process. (1)
In an analysis from McKinsey, 20% of the debtors surveyed say that they have chosen to withhold a planned payment as a result of a disruptive / rude call from a debt collection agency. (2)
The prerequisite for effective recovery is good customer service and respectful treatment of the debtor. By applying knowledge of customers' preferences about payment, self-service and (digital) communication, you have all the prerequisites to be able to work efficiently with the reminder process, without this affecting your customer experiences. An essential part of customer service is to help customers pay and thereby minimize customers' inconveniences and costs in the debt collection process.
The consequence of poor customer service is far greater than the risk of lost payments in recovery. In a survey from 2015, 87% of the consumers surveyed answer that customer service is of crucial importance to which companies they choose to be a customer of. ⅔ of the respondents said that poor customer service had caused them to terminate the cooperation with a company, and 51% of companies (B2B) avoid dealing with suppliers where they have had a bad customer service experience (3).
95% of consumers share poor customer service experiences with their friends and family or give the company a bad review (3).
The importance of customer service is expected to become even more crucial. A study by Walker shows that customer service in 2020 will overtake product quality and price as the primary brand differentiator. (4)