SalesTech Star

Simplr Consumer Survey Reveals Outsized Role of Customer Service In Online Holiday Shopping Plans

The global pandemic is continuing to reshape the retail sector, fueling $189B* in anticipated online holiday sales and forcing brands to wage a virtual battle for customer loyalty. Retailers that enter 2021 with a tailwind will be those that elevate their customer service, according to a survey of 750 consumers conducted in October 2020 by Simplr, in which 90 percent of consumers who shop online said exceptional customer service is important when choosing where to shop. That loyalty translates into revenue, as six in 10 consumers said they will give a retailer more business if it provides exceptional customer service.

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Retailers cannot risk an online letdown, given that consumers surveyed estimate a 60 percent increase in their online holiday shopping from last year.

“If CX leaders think they’re ready for the digital stampede, they should know that more than half of consumers we surveyed don’t share that optimism,” said Daniel Rodriguez, CMO of Simplr, a human-first, machine-enabled customer experience platform.

Fifty-five percent of consumers do not believe, or are unsure, that their favorite online retailers can handle the volume of customer service inquiries this holiday season. Perhaps to combat that concern, 82 percent expect to shop online at stores they know and trust.

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The NOW Customer wants fast, around the clock, responses to their inquiries 

Six in 10 consumers said their customer service expectations are set by the standards of the best retailers. When asked what elements are key to exceptional customer service, consumers said:

  • Fast response time: 60 percent
  • 24/7 customer service: 41 percent
  • Connecting via live chat or email: 37 percent
  • Online chat with a person 24/7: 33 percent
  • Complex questions handled professionally, with empathy and respect: 30 percent

“The expectation from consumers of immediate responses delivered anytime, across multiple channels, in an efficient yet empathic manner defines what Simpr calls the NOW Customer,” said Rodriguez.

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