Wooing the customer just got harder

Customer expectations are changing, and a lot of companies are being caught short.

01 July 2010

“Customers expect better service than ever before.” You’ve heard the claim, right? You probably heard it from somebody trying to sell you CRM software, and you took it with a large pinch of salt. But it’s not a thumb-suck. In 2009, as in the two previous years, Accenture surveyed customers around the world about their expectations and experiences of customer service. For companies in emerging markets, some of the results were both surprising and alarming. Everyone reported having higher service expectations than they did five years ago, but in the emerging markets of South Africa, India, China and Brazil, a full 75 percent of consumers said their expectations were higher than five years ago. In South Africa, 42 percent reported increased expectations even in the past 12 months.

The bad news is, those expectations aren’t being met – and consumers are not taking it quietly. A quarter of all consumers will talk about their negative experiences online for others to see, and the figure rises to 40 percent in emerging markets. Ninety-eight percent of South African consumers had told others about negative experiences, and 31 percent had posted comments online.

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