SEVEN in ten (70%) customers say they are more than willing to spend 13% more with a company they believe provides excellent customer service, and has established that history. Over seven in ten customers (73%) in 2011 believe they have spent more with a business because of a track record in good customer service experiences.

These findings were gathered in the 2011 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, a survey conducted in the United States and nine other countries to explore attitudes and preferences toward customer service. A total of 1,018 random online interviews were conducted among US-based consumers aged 18+ between February 2 and February 10, 2011.

Meeting, but not exceeding expectations
A majority of respondents (61%) say that the customer service experiences they receive from companies usually meet their expectations. Three in ten (29%) feel their expectations are not being met. Also same from last year, less than one-tenth (6%) of the consumers in 2011 think that the customer service experiences they received from companies ‘exceed their expectations.’

Speaking with a live person on the phone tops the method for resolving customer issues (90%), followed by face to face (75%). Fewer respondents say they are interested in resolving issues via the web site or e-mail (67%). Half of them are interested in online chat (47%), while one in five are interested in resolving issues via social networking (22%), SMS (22%) or automated voice response on the phone (20%).

Three in five (59%) respondents say they are willing to try a new brand or company to get better customer service. Other customers are willing to go out of their way to get better service by traveling a longer distance (22%), or sacrificing convenience (19%).

Reference: American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, May 2011