Customer Satisfaction is back on the rise. A recovering economy and rise in customer confidence has led to customer satisfaction improvements in countries and industries that have had historically low customer satisfaction.
In fact, according to The Zendesk Benchmark Q2 2013, the average customer satisfaction score reached 81 percent. In addition to improved customer confidence, one of the main factors in customer satisfaction increases has been industries giving consumers the tools to help themselves. Companies are realizing that enabling self-service lowers supports costs while it also frees up resources to dedicate to high-value customers. Zendesk found that a key approach to improving efficiencies in companies' self-service offerings is by giving them the tools to help themselves. To gauge the effectiveness of these self-service offerings, the company has developed a new metric called the "Self-Service Score" which derives from the number of users who attempt to use content made available by the company to solve an issue divided by the number of users who submit a request for an answer. By using different metrics to measure customer self-service, Zendesk has discovered several figures:
- Customer self-service is growing in popularity with 67 percent of customers preferring to help themselves over speaking to a customer service agent. In the same studies, 91 percent of customers said they would use a company's knowledge base if it was available and tailored to meet their needs.
- The top three scoring industries with the highest Self-Service Score were social media with a 9.9, followed by software with a 7.1, and manufacturing and computer hardware with a score of 6.1. These industries often use web-based tools, making them more nimble in meeting the needs of the self-service landscape.
- The three industries with the lowest self-service score were marketing and advertising with a score of 1.5, followed by financial and insurance services with a score of 1.2, ending with travel, hospitality, and tourism with a score of 1.1. These industries' low scores are due to consumers having particular questions that need specific answers, such as an account issue or about a travel arrangement.
- The percentage of users accessing self-service content from their mobile devices has increased over the past year by 50 percent. This year, 26 percent of self-service users were on mobile.
Key takeaway: Customer satisfaction is increasing due to an improving economy and most importantly from self-service tools. Consumers no longer have to depend solely on companies' customer support centers to resolve their issues. As a result, they like having options, and many in fact now prefer to help themselves. In addition to self-service, another trend is the emergence of consumers turning to one another for support rather than interacting directly with brands. This process not only decreases support costs, but also frees up resources to high-value customers. Through a combination of online forums, communities, and social media, customer self-service is steadily improving customer satisfaction.