Cus­tomers want ef­fi­ciency

Business First - - NEWS -

New re­search mea­sur­ing Aus­tralian sen­ti­ments around cus­tomer ser­vice un­veils that busi­nesses may need to work faster if they want to im­press. Find­ings show a con­cern about in­ef­fi­cient ser­vice providers and re­tail­ers out­weigh­ing con­sumer con­cern about value for money.

The on­line survey of 962 Aus­tralians was car­ried out by TrueLo­cal, an on­line business di­rec­tory and re­view web­site en­gaged by 5.7m unique vis­i­tors per month.

When asked which of six cus­tomer ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ences they find the worst, one in four re­spon­dents (27%) rated ‘long waits or be­ing ig­nored’ as their num­ber one gripe. This was fol­lowed closely by ‘get­ting the run around on the phone’ (26%) – another time-drain­ing task.

Un­sur­pris­ingly, ‘rude ser­vice’ was the third­worst ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence (19%). How­ever, ‘hid­den costs’ (14%) and ‘in­com­plete work or a job left in a worse state’ fall near the bot­tom of the pile (9%). It seems that ‘be­ing given an ap­pren­tice or un­der­qual­i­fied per­son’ to do the job is of least con­cern when it comes to poor cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, with only 4% se­lect­ing this op­tion.

“This sug­gests that Aus­tralians are less con­cerned about value for money and more fo­cused on get­ting things done in time. As a time-poor na­tion, con­sumers are seek­ing ef­fi­cient ser­vices that match their busy life­style. They’re con­tin­u­ously on the move and look­ing for busi­nesses ranked highly by peers. In fact, in the past year alone, we’ve seen a 32 per cent in­crease in searches via mo­bile de­vices,” says Bradley Tay­lor, spokesper­son at TrueLo­cal.

Vic­to­ri­ans ap­pear to be most time poor, with around one in three (30%) choos­ing ‘long waits’ as the worst cus­tomer ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence, more than any other State. It may be the frus­trat­ing jingle of hold mu­sic, how­ever, that pushes South Aus­tralians over the edge, with one in three (33%) re­spon­dents se­lect­ing ‘get­ting the run around on the phone’ as their worst.

The State least con­cerned with ‘hid­den costs and fees’ is Western Aus­tralia (9%), sug­gest­ing that res­i­dents may rank good ser­vice over dol­lars spent.

When it comes to gen­der, how­ever, it’s women who are least con­cerned with costs. More men (18%) se­lected hid­den costs and fees as their worst gripe com­pared with only 12% of women. In­stead, women ap­pear to be more emotionally in­volved in cus­tomer ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ences. Nearly twice as many fe­males (23%) than males (12%) se­lected rude ser­vice as their num­ber one gripe. BF

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