A few weeks back, Forbes published a guest editorial I wrote called "Customer Satisfaction by the Numbers" which describes the Zendesk customer satisfaction benchmark we've developed drawing on a survey of 65 million consumers in 137 countries. Here's a brief excerpt from the article.
As drawn from the survey, the following are global averages across all companies in all industries:
- Customer Satisfaction rating of 86%
- 630 inquiries per month requiring human interaction
- 2,600 customers per month who found answers in self-service forums
- First response times of 23.6 hours
Generalities may be somewhat interesting, but what companies really care about is how they are doing compared to their peers.
The Best and Worst
Examining customer satisfaction by industry, the survey revealed the top three industries are:
- Real Estate: 96%
- IT Services & Consultancy: 95%
- Healthcare: 94%
The bottom three are:
- Retail & Wholesale: 82%
- Social Media: 78%
- Entertainment & Arts: 77%
It may seem surprising to see social media at the bottom of the ranking since social media is truly revolutionizing the way customer service is being delivered. Smart companies are monitoring Twitter and Facebook where customer service fiascos can quickly spin out of control as we’ve seen with such companies as Netflix, Bank of America and Verizon.
Yet, social media companies themselves only have a customer satisfaction rating of 78%. One reason is that they get a huge number of customer service inquiries each month – more than 1,600 on average – and likely are not staffed to handle them. Another reason is that many social media companies use ONLY social media for customer service. Consumers find it frustrating because for some types of problems, live chat, email or even phone, may be more effective for the customer.