graphs with customer service statistics, magnifier and pen

25 key customer service stats to know going into 2020

Trends

In 2019 we saw forward-thinking brands craft stellar customer experiences as a way to set themselves apart from the pack. Going into 2020, more will pick up that same thread, creating even more competition in the marketplace.

A key strategy they used was investing in technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), to push the boundaries of digital transformation. The goal: To deliver tailored high-quality customer service that creates long-term loyalty and advocacy. Here are some of the most important CX trends, as illustrated by 25 recent statistics from industry analysts and other experts.

Brands are recognizing the power of personalization, particularly for younger generations

  • When a company or brand provides a personalized customer experience, 76% of Americans are more likely to make a purchase, 53% are more likely to be willing to pay a little more, and 70% are more willing to recommend that brand to others. (The Harris Poll, on behalf of TELUS International)
  • Only 38% of the largest companies currently have the infrastructure for personalization in real time, and even fewer have the strategy to take advantage. (Econsultancy and Adobe, 2020 Digital Trends)
  • When a company/brand provides a personalized customer experience, 28% of Gen Z said they would be "much more likely" to complete a purchase (a significantly higher percentage than Boomers and Gen X, who came in at 14% and 19% respectively). Meanwhile, 61% of Gen Y and 62% of Gen Z are more likely to pay a little more for their products. (The Harris Poll, on behalf of TELUS International)
  • Younger generations are more likely to ditch a brand due to customer service: 67% of 18–34-year-olds reported that they stopped doing business with a brand due to a poor customer service experience, compared to 62% for 34–54-year-olds, and 52% for those 55+. (Microsoft, State of Global Customer Service report)

Customer experience drives business success

  • When choosing and remaining loyal to brands, 95% consumers indicated that customer service is important to them. (Microsoft, State of Global Customer Service report)
  • Over 80% of organizations expect to compete mainly based on CX this year. That's up from only 36% in 2010. (Gartner, Realizing the Benefits of Superior Customer Experience report)
  • The companies leading in customer experience are three times more likely to have significantly exceeded their 2019 business goals. (Econsultancy and Adobe, 2020 Digital Trends)
  • Companies that earn $1 billion annually can expect to earn, on average, an additional $700 million within three years of investing in customer experience. (Temkin Group)
  • Forrester's 2019 US Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) revealed that the overall quality of the US customer experience rose by 0.4 points, to 70.2%, with 81% of brands stagnating since last year.

Omnichannel customer care improves customer sentiment

  • Two-thirds of consumers report that the most frustrating aspect of getting customer service is waiting on hold or having to explain the same information to multiple representatives. (HubSpot)
  • Customers want omnichannel. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 consumers are interested in a personalized and consistent experience across channels. (BRP Consulting, 2019 Unified Commerce Survey)
  • While 71% of consumers want a consistent experience across all channels, only 29% say they actually get it. (Gladly, 2019 Customer Expectations report)
  • The number of companies investing in the omnichannel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80%. (PwC, Retailing 2020)
  • Executives believe their firms are better at omnichannel than their frontline team members do: 55% of C-levels and VPs are extremely confident that they have access to a complete record of a customer's previous interactions with their company, compared to 23% of individual contributors. (HubSpot)

Digital transformation, including AI and chatbots, continues to dominate conversations — and budgets

  • Artificial intelligence is becoming a regular occurrence in customer service, with 15% of all customer service interactions to be handled solely by that technology by 2021, a 400% increase from 2017. (Gartner, Predicts 2019)
  • Brands are eagerly hopping on board. AI spending is expected to total $35.8 billion in 2019, a 44% jump from 2018. (IDC, Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide)
  • More than a third of organizations (44%) have already started implementing a digital-first approach to business processes, operations and customer engagement. (IDG, State of Digital Business Transformation)
  • Two-thirds of all customer experience initiatives will use IT by 2022, a jump from half in 2017. (Gartner)
  • Of those who have implemented digital transformation initiatives, the most common benefits are improved productivity, optimized processes for efficiency and improved customer support. (IDC in partnership with TELUS International)
  • By 2020, 25% of customer service operations will use virtual customer assistants like chatbots, up from 2% in 2017. (Gartner)

Great customer care must reduce friction and frustration, especially as customers demand more

  • More than half of consumers expect a social customer service response within an hour, and 57% think company response times should be the same on weekends as on weekdays. (Edelman Digital)
  • At every stage of the customer lifecycle, a majority of consumers rated an immediate response from businesses as “important" or “very important" (82%) when they had marketing or sales-related inquiries, and 90% when a customer support issue came up. (HubSpot)
  • Despite increased awareness of the importance of CX, Net Promoter Score (NPS) studies show that all industries struggle with low advocacy ratings. Retail, a leader in customer-centricity, only has an average NPS of 62. (IDC in partnership with TELUS International)
  • One-third of customers will leave a favored brand after one bad experience, while 59% would completely abandon a company after two to three negative interactions. (PwC)
  • If a mobile website doesn't load within three seconds, 53% of visitors will leave. (Think with Google)

Winning in today's market is all about maintaining a customer focus — that is, the commitment to doing whatever it takes to improve the customer experience. With these data points as a guide, CX professionals can develop their 2020 vision, and execute it with confidence.

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