April 23, 2024

Bucks: Consumers Want Fast, Friendly Service

While more than a third of consumers report having had a bad experience with a service provider, and the vast majority of them took time to complain about it, a recent survey finds.

The consulting firm Accenture surveyed 1,000 consumers about in-home service calls, and found that while most people still pick up the phone to complain to the company, they increasingly go to online sites like Facebook and Angie’s List. Twenty percent of consumers under age 35 said they expressed their views online, compared with about half that for those age 35 to 44.

Consumers are also willing to go to another provider because of bad service: 63 percent of complainers, or 23 percent of the total, said they switched to a different company, and 77 percent of complainers (28 percent of the total) looked to use other service providers more often.

The survey findings also suggest that consumers judge companies like cable and satellite providers, appliance installation and repair firms, home improvement contractors and utilities not only on the range of services they provide, but also on  how well they perform them — and on how promptly they fix things when something goes wrong.

In other words, customers want their cable company to deliver high-speed Internet connections. But they may care even more that the cable guy can fix that broken modem on the first try. Younger consumers, in particular, have higher expectations for friendly, knowledgeable customer service.

Based on the survey, Accenture offers this consumer-friendly advice to companies: Invest in training your service representatives, and outsource with care. And rather than focusing on managing the company’s reputation in online forums, companies should invest in providing better service overall. “Social media can be an asset or a liability,” the survey analysis says. The answer, the analysis went on, “rests very much in how well the company provides service in the first place.”

Have you had a particularly bad experience with in-home services? How did you complain? And did you switch companies as a result?

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=1892b5c1247a01c56901b4c2b1519982

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