It won’t be a holly, jolly season for brands this year, as consumers give a great big “Bah Humbug” to customer service. And sorry, but they’re not really that sorry about their Grinch-y attitude as just 20 percent of Americans feel guilty about being rude to a customer service agent.
Their lack of sympathy for the blight of the customer service agent may be because they feel justified given their low expectations of holiday care.
- Nine in ten (91 percent) believe customer service should be better prepared for the holidays, but only 36 percent have higher expectations of customer service during this time of year.
- More than a third (37 percent) would rather eat last year’s fruitcake than contact customer service during the holidays.
- Another 74 percent say it’s more of a hassle to contact customer service during this time than any other time of the year.
Many are even taking more control over their experience. Some consumers are doing all they can to avoid customer service altogether, with nearly one in four (38 percent) saying they would rather give money than deal with customer service during the holidays.
For those that do contact brands during the season, many may try a different means of communication. While 48 percent say phone is the best channel to contact customer service during the year, just 33 percent say the same of the holidays. The decline is due to more consumers saying chat, email, text, social and in-person are the best channels during the holidays (67 percent) compared to year-round (52 percent).
It’s clear consumers are looking to be delighted by brands not only during the holidays, but throughout the year. And as customers take more control over their relationships with companies, delivering a consistent and exceptional customer experience is paramount, especially with low expectations for retail sales and the shortened shopping season this year.
Below is an infographic illustrating consumers’ expectations of holiday customer service.
* According to a survey of 2,500 Americans, of which 2,201 have contacted customer service, commissioned by Aspect Software.
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