Topline: Customer service counts

Customer service has the potential to seriously undermine – and elevate – a company’s credibility among consumers according to the latest iteration of Bensimon Byrne’s ongoing Consumerology Report. The report found that customer service is a key decision point for Canadians, surpassing even brand attributes or environmental, ethical and made-in-Canada claims. “Canadian consumers are telling […]

Customer service has the potential to seriously undermine – and elevate – a company’s credibility among consumers according to the latest iteration of Bensimon Byrne’s ongoing Consumerology Report. The report found that customer service is a key decision point for Canadians, surpassing even brand attributes or environmental, ethical and made-in-Canada claims.

“Canadian consumers are telling us that the service proposition simply can’t be ignored,” said Jack Bensimon, president of the independent Toronto agency. “The good news is [that] a strategic investment in customer service produces a clear and direct return.”

Survey by: The Gandalf Group
Methodology: The English and French survey of 1,500 Canadians was conducted from July 26 to Aug. 7

Key findings:
• In the past year, 56% of Canadians say they have left a store or stopped using a particular brand or product because of a poor customer service experience
• Nearly half (49%) of Canadians have avoided a product or store they have never tried after hearing of a friend or family member’s poor customer service experience
• The majority (51%) of unhappy customers are likely to share a bad experience with others, but only 31% will let the service provider aware of their displeasure
• 43% of Canadians will seek out a brand because of a good review or referral
• The pharma sector has the smallest gap – 8% – between customer expectations and delivery. The widest gaps are in government (37% for federal and provincial, 35% for municipal), telecommunications (-36%), law firms (-34%) and major airlines (-31%)
• 81% of Canadians cite friendly and polite associates as the most important customer service criteria

Additional information can be found here.

Previous Consumerology articles
• Topline: Canadians divided on country’s economic health
• Health product consumers demystified in new study
• Many Canadians feels worse off than one year ago

Brands Articles

Bendgate: 5 things Apple will do next

Markus Giesler guesses at Apple's next iPhone play

Holt Renfrew readies menswear-only store in Toronto

Luxury store wants to grow retail footprint by 40%

Kraft Hockeyville competition expands to U.S.

Tentpole sponsorship expands south of the border with media/in-store campaign

Toys R Us celebrates 30 years in Canada with ‘Oath’

An anniversary message from Toronto creative shop Open

Canadian Tire’s new CEO talks online shopping

Michael Medline chats with CB about digital technology's role in customer service

Millennials are looking for brands to trust: Havas

Nearly half of surveyed millennials consider brands "essential" to their life

Three big obstacles to success for the BlackBerry Passport

Peter Nowak says differentiation is a smart play, but brings its own challenges

Dufour-Lapointe sisters sign back with Saputo

Press darlings launch another initiative, but where are the international brands?

Apple has lost its narrative

Once "brand of the people," it's now an entrenched power. Must we teach Apple's branding lessons back to it?