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Consumers hold grudges after getting bad customer service: report

About 47% displayed negative buying behaviour two years or more after going through a bad experience.

One wrong phone call with a company could have a significantly longer effect for half of consumers in Singapore. A report sponsored by software firm Zendesk revealed that 47% continued to display negative buying behaviour two years or more after going through a bad customer service experience.

Moreover, 94% of Singaporeans admitted that bad customer service negatively changes buying behaviour. Only 86% said good customer service positively changes buying behaviour.

That said, a quick response is considered important (89%) when deciding which companies to buy from, so is an overall smooth experience (82%).

Customer preferences include a broad mix of communication channels to contact customer service, Zendesk said.

For simple service requests, 61% of consumers prefer being contacted via email, 60% prefer phone, 50% prefer live chat, 39% prefer text, and 26% prefer social media. For complicated service requests, 76% prefer phone, 50% prefer email, 43% prefer live chat, 24% prefer text, and 18% prefer social media.

Over a third (36%) said not being able to contact customer service with their preferred channel contributed to a bad experience.

However, channels other than email and phone are gaining popularity for customer service, as 73% have used live chat, social media, or text for customer service in the past year. 46% of Gen Z prefer social media for simple inquiries, although only 18% of Baby Boomers said the same. About 98% have used an FAQ, help centre, or other self-serve online resources.

The survey was conducted by dimensional research amongst 502 consumers in Singapore who have received online or phone customer service. Questions were asked about past experiences with customer service, as well as preferences and opinions. 

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