Keeping it personal 'makes for best customer service'

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In person customer service is always preferential for firms

Businesses of all sizes will often be required to interact with their customers, be it through the latest in online social media trends, through to face-to-face at the point of sale.

However, when it comes to delivering the best and most lasting positive impression, companies really need to remember that the personal touch will always be the better course of action.

This is the conclusion of new research from Echo Manager Services, which revealed that the majority of consumers prefer to deal with a person in the flesh or over the phone when confronted with a problem, as automated services fail to allow people to get across their emotional response.

Reported by, the study showed that 62 per cent of respondents believe that dealing with an actual person - be it up close and personal or on the other end of a phone line - is an essential part of being able to successfully resolve customer complaints.

Furthermore, more than one quarter (29 per cent) said that failure to deliver a personal response to a customer service interaction would see them avoiding that business and their services again in the future.

Overall, 12 per cent went as far as saying that a lack of personal interaction in customer service departments would leave them feeling angry and upset. Meanwhile, eight per cent stated they would not recommend the brand to others and four per cent said they would actively discourage others from buying from them.

The importance of providing an understanding and human response to all customer service enquiries should therefore not be underestimated for all firms.

Indeed, Monica Mackintosh, customer services director at Echo Managed Services, told the news provider: "While it’s important for businesses that regularly deal with customer enquiries to remain competitive, they need to find the right balance between cost saving and efficiency and ensuring they continue to provide exceptional customer experiences.

"Get it wrong, and customer losses will end up being more expensive in the long run."

The research also went on to highlight the most common customer service frustrations for consumers, including excessive time be kept on hold (56 per cent), automated call answering systems (17 per cent), overseas call centres (7.5 per cent) and inarticulate or poor-quality staff (three per cent).

Tailoring customer service training and practices to avoid these common upsets can therefore be a good way for companies to improve their overall levels of customer satisfaction. It can also help to avoid costly and damaging negative reputation caused by a lack of personal understanding for businesses in the long run.