Customer service the key to Christmas cheer for Australian businesses

More than 60% of customers believe Australian businesses are lifting their game when it comes to customer service, according to the American Express 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer. This is a clear improvement on previous years, with 54% satisfaction recorded in 2012 and 55% in 2011.

While the research shows that 72% of Australians claim to have spent more (approx 12% more on average) with a company where they’ve had a good customer experience, they are also twice as likely to dish the dirt on a negative customer service experience. On average, customers tell nine people about good service experiences, but vent our frustration at bad service to an average of 18 people.

“The numbers really are a pat on the back for Australian businesses, but they also serve as a clear reminder to businesses at the busiest time of year that people have no hesitation in telling others about their service experiences, good or bad,” said Andrew Carlton, Vice President Customer Service at American Express.

Mr Carlton said that customers vote with their wallets after they receive great service, “Globally, American Express Card Members who are highly satisfied with their service interactions spend 16% more on their cards. It’s why we are so committed to delivering our award-winning customer service.”

Anouche Newman, Head of Consultancy and Education, at Customer Service Institute of Australia said: “A focus on customer service has long been recognised as the best way for organisations to improve the loyalty of customers, and it’s really good to see that an increasing number of Australian businesses are truly committed to creating great customer experiences. We’re seeing a definite trend towards companies investing in this most crucial part of doing business, which is particularly important at this time of year when consumers are spending big.”

On the international front, of the ten nations surveyed Australians are most likely to use companies based on the recommendations of family and friends with 45% sighting this as a key influence on choosing to do business with a company. Australia was ahead of the UK and Canada (both 44%) and the US (42%), while India (22%) and Japan (20%) were at the bottom of that table but both were prominent in seeing a company’s reputation as the most likely influence.

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