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About 54% Indians have used social media to get a customer service response at least once in the past year as compared to an average of 20% in other markets. However, 64% Indians lose their temper with a customer service professional which is far higher in comparison to an average of 48% across the world
You may have horrifying experience while dealing with a customer service representative or department for any product you have bought or any service you are using, but according to a survey around 54% of Indians have used social media like Twitter and Facebook to resolve their grievances. This is more than twice the average 20% of consumers in markets across the world, says the findings of American Express Global Customer Service Barometer.
The survey conducted in India and 10 other countries also found that people in India who use social media for customer service are more willing than the general population to reward companies with both business and loyalty for quality service and end relationship due to poor service.
Indians also score high when it comes to losing one's temper while dealing with the customer service representatives. About 64% Indians lost their temper with a customer service professional in the past year, far higher in comparison to an average of 48% in other markets, the survey found out.
"Today's networked consumers are demanding engagement, personalization, and prompt response from the companies they deal with across multiple channels. They also wield a lot of influence because they spend more for great service and share their opinions widely. Ultimately, these consumers can help influence improvements to service quality," said Pradeep Kapur, senior vice president for world service India and process excellence at American Express.
According to the survey, companies' track record for resolving issues through social media has been good so far. While more than a third of consumers (37%) feel they always have their issues resolved, another 14% say they rarely or never get an answer.
The perception is positive for the time companies take to respond-80% of Indians feel companies have improved their response times through social media over the past year, which is far better than other markets, the survey said.
Social media is not the only way people are spreading the word about their customer service experiences. Consumers overall will tell significantly more people about their customer service experiences compared to last year and other countries, highlighting the importance of every interaction for businesses aiming to build customer loyalty and a positive image. On an average, Indians talk to 44 people about good customer service experiences and to 46 people about their bad experiences.
"When customers know that a company is listening to them and addressing their needs quickly and responsively, they will not only spend more-they will spread the word to others as well. Great customer service is great business and positions a brand with staying power," Mr Kapur added.
According to the survey, 87% people are willing to spend more for better service-willing to spend an average of 22% more; 74% say they have spent more in the past year. In addition, 80% of consumers surveyed feel small businesses provide a more personal customer service experience than large companies.
For a complex query (such as returning a product or getting assistance with a product issue), people gravitate to a "real person on the phone". Specifically, 25% of Indians prefer addressing complex queries to a "real person" which is low when compared to the average of nearly 37% in other markets. Moreover, Indians expressed their preference for using a diverse range of channels when addressing complex queries including automated voice response systems (12%) and Social Networking sites (10%)-nearly twice the number of their counterparts (other markets: average of 6% prefer automated systems; 5% prefer social networking sites).
The average consumer in India is more patient than their counterparts in other markets surveyed when they want to contact a customer service centre by telephone. Respondents hit his or her boiling point after 16 minutes on hold, higher than other markets (Mexico - 15 minutes, Canada and Australia 14 minutes each, Germany and Netherlands 7 minutes each and Japan - 6 minutes). When it comes to customer wait time in-person, Indians wait for an average of 17 minutes for help at establishments such as banks, retail stores or restaurants, which is higher than all other markets surveyed, the American Express survey finds out.
The American Express Global Customer Service Barometer research was completed online among a random sample of 1,007 Indian consumers aged 18 and above.