The UK’s leading independent insurance broker surveyed hundreds of business professionals to gather a comprehensive overview of customer experience expectations across all sectors.
Headline stats include:
• High customer service levels are important to 96% of purchasers
• Customer service was named the most important factor when making a business decision, overtaking other key factors such as product features or availability
• 81% of businesses expect at least a 7 out of 10 standard of customer service
• No purchasers were prepared to deal with a 100% automated service, instead preferring to deal mainly with real people with some level of automation
• 41% of B2B purchasers’ value high customer service levels as “absolutely essential”, compared to 27% of those working in B2C industries
• 28% of consumers felt empathy and emotional intelligence will become more important, while accuracy / attention to detail and speed of service will decrease in importance
Romero’s research provides customer experience stats and insights. The report asks what the future of customer service will look like, how digitalisation will affect the customer service landscape and whether upcoming generations will change the way businesses handle customer service.
Customer experience is a key differentiator, with 96% of purchasers stating that high customer service levels are very important when making a business decision and 34% labelling it absolutely essential. Romero’s research shows customers expect a great level of customer service, but the majority of the time less than 75% of business purchases provide an exceptional customer experience.
The rise of digitalisation is a hot topic amongst the customer service industry – but is the availability of digital communication important to purchasers? 45% would be more likely to choose a vendor that had digitalised their customer service offering. The reasons for this are all related to availability of speed and ease of service. Though digitalisation is increasingly growing in popularity, no consumers are prepared to deal with a 100% automated service. Instead, customers prefer to choose from a wide range of communication methods depending on their personal situation. For example, 49% would choose real-person communication to resolve a more complex query.
There is a notable correlation between customer experience expectations and age. 29% of those aged 65 and over say they have never received customer service below their expectation, compared to just 7% from other age ranges. This could demonstrate that younger generations expect more from businesses. No longer does just providing a product/service constitute good service – in the age of the Experience Economy, customers are prioritising great experiences over material possession. And these values extend to customer service.
The report also shows the correlation between age and the importance of more personal and personalised customer service. For example, 85% of 18-24-year-olds feel access to good sales people is very important, compared to just 60% of those aged 25 and over. A larger percentage of younger purchasers also feel a personal relationship with a vendor, a personalised buying experience, positivity and enthusiasm of sales staff and empathy are very important. Businesses can ensure consistent, empathetic service by investing in staff training and ensuring they have an engaged, passionate team. This enthusiasm and care is then naturally passed on to customers.
Simon Mabb, Managing Director of Romero Insurance Brokers
Simon Mabb, Managing Director of Romero Insurance Brokers, says: “Our research shows the real value of quality customer service. It’s clear that the future of customer service lies in choice, flexibility and personalisation. Customers want to decide how they communicate with a business, and expect an empathetic, personal experience whether they’re chatting to an adviser on the phone or typing out their query on a website live chat.
“Customer service should be all about people, and genuinely connecting with each customer. Here at Romero, we pride ourselves on our long-standing and meaningful customer relationships. This report demonstrates our dedication to continually adding value to the industry and leading the way when it comes to strong service.”
The full report is available to download from the Romero website.
About Romero Insurance Brokers
Romero Insurance Brokers is an independent insurance broker founded in 1997 by Justin Romero-Trigo, and has grown organically with no outside investment, now managing £90m of commercial insurance premiums.