FreshDesk, one of the best known startup success stories to emerge from India, has published a State of Customer Support report based on the data gleaned from the 250,000 users of its customer support software.
The key takeaways are not very surprising. Customers hate being put on hold, and are the happiest when their queries are resolved within a reasonable amount of time following which satisfaction ratings plummet. In most cases, customers expect their queries to be resolved within a day. However, resolution time isn’t the sole parameter that determines customer satisfaction. Transparent and effective communication is also of paramount importance.
While email continues to be the biggest source of support queries, its prominence decreased by 7% in 2012-13 compared to 2011-12. Phone support, which is the second most dominant medium, also lost ground. Unsurprisingly, it’s support through social media that registered the strongest growth. Support requests through forums more than tripled, while complaints registered through Facebook increased by about 150%. Twitter, which has been very publicly adopted by various organizations for reaching out to customers, is surprisingly lagging behind Facebook and Forums, but gained by more than 50% to overtake support through chats. Unlike phone and mail, social media allows customers to very publicly air their grievances, which often prods the companies into reacting faster. However, a worrying trend is that on Facebook, firms are often quick to respond but fail to seriously follow through. Conversely it also appears that in the hurry to offer faster resolution on social platforms, accuracy and accountability suffers. Email support is the leader in terms of accuracy with least amount of reopened or reassigned tickets.