Customer Satisfaction Dropped off Substantially During the Holidays (France)

Zendesk’s quarterly benchmark has revealed a more noticeable seasonal drop in customer satisfaction than in previous years

SAN FRANCISCO, CA / PARIS, FRANCE – February 11, 2014 – According to Zendesk’s quarterly benchmark, published today, overall customer satisfaction dropped 2% in the fourth quarter of 2013, thus following an annual downward trend during the year-end holiday period. The average score for customer satisfaction dropped to 80%, with significant decreases of 7 and 6 points in the tourism and retail sectors, respectively.

This report is produced by Zendesk, an international supplier of software for improving customer service operations that makes a quarterly measurement of customer satisfaction and market trends, based on a pool of 16,000 companies and their customers, in 125 countries.

The complete 4th quarter report may be downloaded at the following link: http://fr.zendesk.com/blog/benchmark-q4-2014-tendance-du-service-client

This decrease in customer satisfaction can mainly be explained by a major increase in consumer demand for travel and retail services during one of the most important and busiest times of the year for businesses. Although the drop-off in the fourth quarter came as no surprise, the change in 2013 is greater than it was in 2012 for merchants, where customer satisfaction had decreased only 2 points. The other sectors where customer satisfaction showed decreases in the last quarter were healthcare and computers.

“If you found that the quality of customer service was really awful during this holiday period, you weren’t the only one,” said Sam Boonin, Zendesk Benchmark manager and Vice President for Products at Zendesk. “Customer satisfaction overall was affected, and the impact on merchants was greater than usual. The problems encountered by customer service operations during this holiday period were like a shock treatment for companies and enabled them to become aware of the need to plan ahead better and be more prepared for this seasonal increase in demand.”

Customer satisfaction, country-by-country: Norway is at the top of the ratings, and France is below the average

Norway takes the prize ranking in this quarter, with customer satisfaction at 91%. Canada and Denmark come in a close second, both with a rating of 89%, just above the world average of 80%. The U.S. failed to make it into the top 10 because of a 3-point drop relative to the previous quarter. India ranked last, with a customer satisfaction rating of only 54%, i.e., down 13 points compared to the last benchmark.

France fell below the world average, with a satisfaction rating of 74% in the last quarter of 2013, down 4 points compared to the previous quarter.

Countries with the highest customer satisfaction ratings:

·       Norway: 91% (+1%)

·       Canada: 89% (-2%)

·       Denmark: 89% (+1%)

Countries with the lowest customer satisfaction ratings:

·       India: 54% (-13%)

·       Turkey: 61% (N/A)

·       United Arab Emirates: 67% (+8%)

 

Customer satisfaction by type of industry

In every quarter in 2013, consulting and IT services firms, government companies and non-profits, as well as real estate businesses, were all in the top 3 rankings.

Sectors with the highest customer satisfaction ratings:

·       IT services & consultancy: 96% (+1%)

·       Non-profit companies: 95% (0%)

·       Real estate businesses: 94% (0%)

Sectors with the lowest customer satisfaction ratings:

·       Social media: 69% (+2%)

·       Travel, lodging & tourism: 75% (-7%)

·       Leisure & entertainment: 76% (0%)

Customer satisfaction drops off during year-end holidays

The report for this quarter revealed the substantial drop in customer satisfaction experienced by merchants during the holiday period. The 2013 season was more problematic for the retail sector. Customer satisfaction dropped off 6%, to 76%, in the fourth quarter of 2013, much more than the 2-point decrease that occurred during the fourth quarter of 2012.

But what’s the source of the problem? One of the main reasons is the major seasonal increase in the number of customer inquiries, and the rise in the average number of calls that customer service agents have to handle. Between the third and fourth quarters of 2013, the number of “service calls” increased by 42%, compared to a 34% increase for the same period in 2012.

Overall, merchants do not seem to prepare adequately for this critical period by hiring enough customer service agents to deal with this deluge of additional demand. In 2013, customer service agents handled an average of 19% more cases between November and December, at the peak of the holiday period, amounting to a total of 457 cases per rep. This seasonal increase in the work load was only 6% the year before.

About Zendesk Benchmark

The Zendesk Benchmark is based on a pool of 16,000 companies and their customers, in 125 countries. These companies are among the 40,000 Zendesk clients who use its customer service program to attend to more than 300 million people on a daily basis. Launched in March 2012, the Zendesk Benchmark allows companies to compare their performance levels in terms of customer service operations with those of their peers. The Benchmark measures various key indicators related to customer assistance, customer behavior related to self-service functions, and levels of customer loyalty. Customer satisfaction is based on the percentage of positive replies to the question, “Are you satisfied with your interactions with customer service?” In order for a country to be included in this quarterly report, it must obtain a minimum of 10,000 replies during the quarter.

About Zendesk

Zendesk builds cloud software for better customer service, bringing companies and their customers closer together. With Zendesk, companies engage directly and openly with customers, building more meaningful customer relationships that last a lifetime. More than 40,000 customers use Zendesk to provide service to more than 300 million people worldwide. Founded in 2007 and based in San Francisco, Zendesk has offices in seven countries and funding from Charles River Ventures, Benchmark, GGV Capital, Index Ventures, Matrix Partners and Redpoint Ventures.  In France, Zendesk clients include: Canal+, La Fourchette.com, Norauto, Libération and Gîtes de France. For more information: www.zendesk.fr

This is a translation of a press release originally issued in French.

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