10 of the Most Compelling Stats from Microsoft's 'Global State of Customer Service' Report

10 of the Most Compelling Stats from Microsoft’s ‘Global State of Customer Service’ Report

2020 undoubtedly changed the way that customer service reps and managers operate. Consumer habits shifted. A majority of the workforce moved completely to the digital sphere. The way the world connected and collaborated changed.

With this unprecedented year behind us, you may wonder – what’s ahead? Is the state of customer service clearer in 2021 or still a bit foggy?

Though no one can truly anticipate how the world will change in 2021, we can base our customer service theories on the lessons we’ve all learned in 2020, many of them poignant and unforgettable.

Microsoft has released a “Global State of Customer Service” report that really puts the past five years and journey ahead into perspective. Territories surveyed for this report include Brazil, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 5,088 individuals responded across these territories.

In this post, we share key takeaways from Microsoft’s “Global State of Customer Service” report that you can use to inspire and alter your own customer service strategies and processes in 2021 and beyond.

1. “55% of customers expect better customer service year over year.” 

Today’s consumers don’t just demand excellent customer service, they deserve it. They expect companies to deliver, as Microsoft so puts it, “consistent exceptional customer service.”

CRM tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service can help your team ensure they’re holding up their end of the business bargain with features like:

  • Case Management
  • Email Queue and Auto-creation
  • Service-level agreements
  • Entitlements
  • Knowledge base
  • Customer feedback functionality
  • Self-service portals
  • CafeX Chat
  • And more

2. “Globally, 90% of consumers believe customer service is somewhat to very important in the choice of a brand.” 

First impressions matter to customers, whatever channel they first interact with you on, whether it be by email, phone, social media, a website contact form, etc.

In 2021, it’s imperative that you equip your customer service team with the multi-channel support tools they need to deliver exceptional service to your customers in the most efficient manner.

3. “Nearly two-thirds (58%) of consumers will sever a relationship with a business due to poor customer service.” 

Customer service means everything to today’s consumer. How you treat your customers matters.

Are your customer service reps equipped with the tools and resources they need to provide empathetic, efficient, timely, and personalized communications to your customers? It makes a world of difference when your reps have the technology they need to support your processes!

4. “Nearly two-thirds (58%) of consumers will sever a relationship with a business due to poor customer service.” 

Every customer service interaction sets the tone for brand loyalty.

CRM solutions can help your customer service team earn customers for life and avoid strained relationships.

5. “Globally, 55% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service than one year ago.”

Of those surveyed, the 18-34 age group has the highest expectations for customer service at 70% “higher expectations than one year ago,” while ages 35-54 sit at 57%, and those aged 55+ sit at 45%.

Factors that may lead to poor customer service include high turnover rates, poor customer service technology user adoption, an overworked workforce, misalignment between customer service reps and your customers, a lack of process, coaching, or training, and so on.

There are many ways to remedy and address these common customer service hurdles, which we cover in an eBook, “10 Best Practices to Improve Customer Service.”

You can download your complimentary copy here.

6. “Globally, two-thirds (67%) found proactive customer service notifications favorable.”

By anticipating the needs of your customers, you can better serve them and put your business in a favorable light.

7. “Globally, 54% of respondents had a more favorable view of brands that responded to customer service questions or complaints on social media.”

Today’s customers live on social media. While some demographics may not be as prominent as others on different social media platforms, a majority of today’s population has at least some online presence.

This not only makes it crucial for your brand to have an online presence but for your customer service reps to be able to access customer service issues via your brand’s social media channels. Similarly, your customers should be able to access your customer service reps via social media.

Does your website have a live chat function? This may also be important for your 2021 customer service strategy. Being able to handle incoming requests, complaints, or concerns on your customers’ preferred channel will help you improve your customer retention rates.

There are many ways you can approach handling customer service requests on social media. CRM tools can help you get started and fill in any gaps you may currently have when it comes to addressing customer service issues on social media networks.

Be where your customers are on social media!

8. “Customers continue to believe customer service is getting better at 63%.”

Microsoft notes that “getting customer service issues resolved the first time topped the list in delivering a positive experience.”

This reinforces the importance of having a clear and consistent customer service strategy among your reps.

Microsoft also notes that “an agent’s lack of knowledge, followed by the inability to resolve an issue” triumphed as the “greatest frustration” that today’s customer experiences while interacting with a customer service rep.

If you don’t already have a FAQ portal in place, this would greatly help your reps and customers alike.

9. “Those with the belief that customer service is becoming worse grew by three points, to 37%.”

Microsoft notes that this is a reflection of customers becoming savvier over the years, often knowing more about you than you do about them upon the first interaction.

This reinforces the importance of making sure that key customer service data is at the hands of your reps at all times so they never miss a beat in terms of their knowledge of the customer service issue or customer themself.

10. “89% of respondents want to provide feedback.”

Getting customer feedback should be an empowering experience for customer service reps and customers alike. Feedback should be valued as constructive opportunities for improvement.

Customer service reps can use the information gathered to improve their processes and protocols, and customers have the chance for their input to make an impact.

If you benefited from these statistics, there are many more important ones to uncover. Download your own copy of Microsoft’s “Global State of Customer Service” report.

Download the Report

CRM tools like Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service can equip your team with the tools they need to deliver consistently exceptional customer service. Learn more about what’s possible with CRM.

Request a personal demo or watch our library of on-demand demos.

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