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Good customer service key for businesses in India: Survey

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The trend of consumers staying with a company on account of good service experience is picking up in India, says a survey.

Also, out of 10 Indian consumers 7 have used social media for customer service response, the study said.

"Businesses in India can reap the most rewards by providing excellent service, as 78 per cent of consumers have spent more with a company because of history of positive customer service experiences."

"This trend is picking up as 86 per cent of Indian customers have expressed willingness to spend 23 per cent more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service as against the global average of 66 per cent who are willing to spend 12 per cent more," said the American Express 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer Survey.

Few can beat Indians when it comes to tolerance as 66 per cent of them are willing to give companies a second or more chances when faced with a poor experience.

The survey, however, added that "Indian customers are also the most reactive with 71 per cent having dropped an intended purchase due to poor customer service".

The survey said 66 per cent of Indians are likely to talk about their good experiences to an average of 41 people (global average of 41 per cent talking to only 9 people). About 50 per cent talk to 48 people about their bad experiences, it said.

"Recommendations from others and a company's reputation are truly driving consumer behaviour, so it's important for businesses to create good customer service experiences."

"The highly networked Indian customers present a phenomenal opportunity as he wields a wide sphere of 'word of mouth' influence and is also willing to pay a premium to companies providing great service. So focusing on delivering outstanding service will ultimately help companies to grow," said Sanjay Rishi, President, American Express South Asia in a statement.

It said great service in India is mostly defined by how their needs are taken care of.

"What qualifies as excellent customer service for Indian consumers are the customer care person's abilities to provide satisfactory answers (79 per cent) or being connected to someone knowledgeable (63 per cent).

Indians are most patient consumers when it comes to their willingness to wait in-person or on hold-on-phone, it said.

For Indians, the wait-in-person is 20 minutes and wait- on-hold 18 minutes. For counterparts in other markets the average wait-in-person is 14 minutes, on-hold 12 minutes.

The survey also revealed that many Indian customers prefer to handle simple inquiries themselves, but as issues become more complex, they tend to prefer contact with a real person.

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First Published: Tue, October 28 2014. 18:40 IST