Customer Service Statistics

Jesse Hollander
Published in
9 min readAug 16, 2019


Below are various statistics compiled across various media that highlight the state of customer service today (at bottom of the page you’ll see the sources where these statistics are found).

Impact of Customer Frustration

  • A customer is 4x more likely to buy from a competitor if the problem is service related rather than price or product related. (Bain & Company)
  • The #1 reason customers switch away from products and services is feeling unappreciated. (New Voice Media)
  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for 1 unresolved negative experience. (Ruby Newell-Legner’s “Understanding Customers”)
  • Poor service is the number one reason for leaving among customers who are “very sure” they’re leaving their bank. (Qualtrics, Banking Customer Experience Report)
  • 68% said that a pleasant representative was key to their recent positive service experiences, and 62% said that a representative’s knowledge or resourcefulness was key. (American Express)
  • 67% of customers reported hanging up on an automated system out of frustration at not being able to reach a live person. (Glance)
  • 50% of customers will wait one week for a customer service representative response before they stop doing business with that brand. (RightNow)
  • 33% of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service. (American Express)
  • Clients who have switched advisors say their motivation was high fees, poor service, and lack of personalized attention. (Qualtrics, Financial Advisor Client Experience Report)
  • The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience. (American Express)
  • Men tell the most people (21 people) when they have had a poor customer service experience. (American Express)
  • On average women tell about 10 people when they have had a poor customer service experience. (American Express)
  • 33% of customers who abandoned a business relationship last year did so because personalization was lacking. (Accenture)
  • 27% of Americans report that ineffective customer service is their number one frustration (Statista).
  • Another 12% of Americans rate their number one frustration as “lack of speed” (Statista).
  • 72% of customers say that explaining their problems to multiple people is poor customer service. (Dimensional Research)
  • 79% of consumers who used feedback to complain about poor customer experience online were ignored. (Harris Interactive)
  • 33% of consumers would recommend a brand that provides a quick but ineffective response. (Nielsen-McKinsey)
  • The majority of Americans have decided not to make a purchase because of a poor customer service experience. (American Express)
  • Only 17% of consumers would recommend a brand that provides a slow but effective solution. (Nielsen-McKinsey)
  • It costs 6–7 times more to attract a new customer than to retain an existing customer. (Kolsky)
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. (McKinsey & Company)
  • 62% of customers say they share their bad experiences with others (Salesforce Research); however, 72% of customers will share their good experiences with others. That’s a full 10% more positives than negatives.
  • 56% of people around the world have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor customer service experience. (Microsoft)
  • 47% of consumers have made the choice to switch to a different brand due to bad customer service within the last year. (Microsoft)
  • After a bad customer service experience, 39% of customers will avoid a company for two years. (Zendesk)
  • 91% of customers who are unhappy with a brand will just leave without complaining. (Salesforce)

Marketing Sizing Customer Frustration

  • 62 million+ families experienced at least one problem during the past 12 months, making people frustrated and angry. (Carey School of Business)
  • $62 billion is lost by U.S. companies each year due to bad customer experiences (NewVoiceMedia)
  • In 2017, 64% of Americans contacted some form of customer service. (Statista)

Considering HR in Customer Service

  • Turnover for customer service employees is 27% annually, the highest in the business world. (Mercer)

Corporate Response to Raising Customer Expectations

  • 89% of businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience (Gartner)
  • By 2019 more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations (Gartner)
  • Businesses that provide consistent customer service quality across multiple channels will retain 89% of their customers whereas companies which do not provide consistent omni-channel customer service are only able to retain around 33% of their customers (Aberdeen Group).
  • 34% of companies are implementing “customer journey mapping” into their customer service. (Salesforce)

Customer Service Expectations

  • Around the globe, 96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. (Microsoft)
  • 70% of consumers say they have already made a choice to support a company that delivers great customer service. (American Express)
  • Americans will pay 17% more to do business with firms with great reputations when it comes to customer service. (American Express)
  • 66% of 18–34-year-olds say their customer service expectations have risen in the last year. (Microsoft)
  • 52% of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience. (Zendesk)
  • When asking consumers what impacts their level of trust with a company, offering excellent customer service is ranked number one. (Zendesk)
  • About one in three people (30%) say the most important aspect of customer service is speaking with a knowledgeable and friendly agent. (Microsoft)
  • 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves (Zendesk)
  • 70% of customers expect a company’s website to include a self-service application (Steven Van Belleghem)
  • Over 60% of US consumers prefer an automated self-service, such as a website or mobile app, for simple customer service tasks. (American Express)
  • 73% of customers want to solve product or service issues on their own (Aspect Software)
  • 70% of customers say service agents’ awareness of sales interactions is very important to keeping their business.
  • 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products or services.
  • 59% of customers believe that companies need to provide cutting-edge digital experiences to keep their business.
  • 79% of customers are willing to share relevant information about themselves in exchange for contextualized interactions in which they’re immediately known and understood.
  • 54% of customers have higher expectations for customer service today compared to one year ago and that number jumps to 66% for consumers 18–34 years old. (Microsoft)
  • Consumers feel the most significant root causes of poor service are (Genesys): Repeating themselves Being trapped in automated self-service; Forced to wait too long for service; Representatives don’t know my history and value; Cannot switch between communication channels easily
  • Consumers are willing to spend 17% more with companies that deliver excellent service. (American Express, 2017 Customer Service Barometer)
  • After having a positive experience with a company, 77% of customers would recommend it to a friend. (Temkin Group)
  • Increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits anywhere from 25% to 95%. (Bain and Company)
  • 43% of US auto insurance customers say it would be easier to file a claim if they had one representative to be a single point of contact to manage the claim. (Qualtrics, Auto Insurance Trends and Consumer Report)

Customer Service Channels

  • In the U.S. the phone is the customer service channel respondents use most, more often than email, in-person, live chat, mobile app, self-service, search engine, social media, online community, text message, or chatbot.
  • 57% of customers would rather contact companies via digital media such as email or social media rather than use voice-based customer support. (Ameyo)
  • Friendly employees or customer service representatives are what make a memorable experience that causes consumers to stick with a brand, for 73% of customers (Harris Interactive)
  • For more complicated interactions, such as payment disputes, 40% of customers prefer talking to a real person over the phone. American Express
  • 23% of consumers seek out a face to face interaction for complicated customer service issues like troubleshooting. (American Express)
  • Nearly 1/3 of customers report sending a mobile/SMS message to the company requesting assistance. (Forrester)
  • 90% of consumers expect an online portal for customer service (Microsoft).
  • Globally, only 5% of customer service interactions begin with a face to face meeting (Microsoft)
  • 54% of customers used email customer service channels making it the most commonly used digital customer service channel (Forrester)
  • 9 in 10 consumers want absolute omnichannel service — they expect a seamless experience when moving from one communication method to another, such as phone to text or chat to phone (NICE inContact)
  • 30% of US consumers rate chatbot interactions as “very effective” in dealing with customer service issues. (Microsoft)
  • 77% of consumers report having used a self-service support portal. (Microsoft)
  • More than 65% of customers aged 18–44 use mobile to seek for service more than once a month. (SoftwareAdvice)
  • 65% of people aged 18–34 believe social media is an effective channel for customer service, while 75% of people aged 55 and over do not. Microsoft Customer Communication)
  • Only 12% of Americans say they cannot find the information they need in self-service portals. (Microsoft)
  • 74% of respondents have contacted customer service by phone — email is the next most popular channel at 62%
  • About as many respondents typically begin their customer service interaction over the phone as online, 43% versus 49%, respectively.
  • When asked what the most frustrating aspect of a customer service experience is, over a third of U.S. respondents (34%) chose “Automated Telephone System (IVR)/inability to reach a live person for customer support.
  • Out of all self-service channels, customers use knowledge bases the most. (Forrester)
  • 63% of customers are happy to be served by a chatbot, if there is an option to escalate the conversation to a human (Forrester)
  • In the past year, 35% reported reaching out in social channels, up significantly from the 2014 survey (23%) and double the percentage from 2012 (17%).
  • Of those who have used social media for a customer service concern, 84% say they have received a response or resolution, up significantly from 65% in 2014. (American Express)
  • 32% of social media users who contact a brand expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. (The Social Habit)
  • 54% of customers used email customer service channels this past year, making it the most commonly used digital customer service channel. (Forrester)
  • 92% of consumers are satisfied with live chat, making it the highest-rated engagement channel. (ZenDesk)
  • 64% of customer service teams use customer portals, compared to 84% of customers who use customer portals.
  • 63% of customer service teams use text messaging, compared to 78% of customers who use text messaging for communicating with a company.
  • 52% of customer service teams use online chat or live support, compared to 81% of customers who use online chat or live support for communicating with a company.
  • 51% of customer service teams use mobile apps, compared to 82% of customers who use mobile apps for communicating with a company.
  • 20% of customer service teams use voice-activated personal assistants, compared to 54% of customers who use voice assistants to communicate with a company.

Impact of Key Technologies on Customer Service

  • 76% of collaboration leaders are investing or expanding their emerging technology investment. (Accenture)
  • 26% of companies leading financially use CX technologies, compared to 7% of laggards. (Bain)
  • 31% of organizations have already invested in technology like AI to outpace the competition. (Accenture)
  • By 2020, more than 40% of all data analytics projects will relate to an aspect of customer experience. (Gartner)
  • By 2021, 15% of all customer service interactions will be completely handled by AI, an increase of 400% from 2017. (Gartner)
  • 69% of high-performing service agents are actively looking for situations to use artificial intelligence (AI) compared to only 39% of underperformers.
  • Service teams are projected to increase their use of AI by 143% over the next 18 months.
  • High-performing service teams are 3.2x more likely than underperformers to have a defined AI strategy
  • 51% of agents without AI say they spend most of their time on mundane tasks, versus 34% of agents with AI.
  • Customer service teams in the travel and hospitality industry expect AI use to grow 187% over the next 18 months.
  • 82% of service decision-makers say their company’s customer service must transform to stay competitive.

Customer Feedback

  • 75% of people complete surveys on their mobile (IMImobile)
  • 48% of consumers expect a response to social media questions and complaints within 24 hours (Statista)
  • Both in the United States and world wide, 18% of customers expect a response from a company’s social media within one hour (Statista)
  • 1/3 of Americans have used social media to complain about a brand or its customer service (Microsoft Self Service and Automation)
  • 88% of consumers are influenced by online customer service reviews when making a buying decision. (Zendesk)
  • 86% of millennials say they are influenced by negative reviews when purchasing a product or service. (Zendesk)
  • 90% of customers are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product. (Zendesk)
  • More people read positive reviews of customer service online than negative ones by 6%. (Zendesk)

Retail customer service

  • Only 50% of shoppers believe their feedback doesn’t go to anyone who can act on it. (Qualtrics, 2017 Apparel Retail Study)
  • 53% of millennial shoppers feel that store associates do not have the tools they need to deliver great customer service, such as mobile devices to look up shopper profiles and provide product recommendations (Salesforce)
  • 69% of U.S. online adults shop more with retailers that offer consistent customer service both online and offline. (Forrester)


Customer Thermometer