SOURCE: KANA Software, Inc.

KANA Software, Inc.

October 15, 2013 09:00 ET

Consumers Experience "Groundhog Day" Syndrome When Filing Customer Service Complaints

New Research Reveals Consumers Waste 6.5 Hours Annually, Also Details Which Customers Gripe Most and via Which Channels, and How Much Repetition Is Needed to Ultimately Gain Resolution

SUNNYVALE, CA--(Marketwired - Oct 15, 2013) - Consumers spend 384 minutes lodging official complaints each year; it's the hidden customer cost of doing business never before revealed -- until now. And it's just one of the findings from new customer experience research conducted by Populus Research and commissioned by KANA Software, Inc., a global leader in customer service solutions delivered on-premises or in the cloud and used by more than 900 organizations and government agencies worldwide.

In seeking to ascertain the good, the bad and the most irksome factors consumers face when complaining to businesses or organizations, 2,000 US consumers aged 18 and over were surveyed in August 2013. Key findings stemming from the research include:

Customer Service Reps Have Job Security. Seventy-one percent of consumers surveyed have made a complaint in the past three years to an organization about their products or services, and on average, Americans make official complaints six times each year -- or once every 60 days. The amount of time wasted on each complaint is a staggering one hour and four minutes, equating to a waste of nearly 6 1/2 hours each year -- the equivalent of nearly one whole working day for each person questioned.

Can You Hear Me Now? When asked about consumers' experiences during their most recent complaint, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of those polled said they had to repeat themselves to different members of staff to pursue resolution. In fact, getting full resolution took an average of three attempts, according to those surveyed, with more than one-quarter (27 percent) of consumers using multiple contact channels to do so. Seventeen percent of those surveyed indicated they had fallen into the customer service "death spiral" where they had to expend more than one full hour repeating themselves.

Phone Still Reigns Supreme as Customer Service Complaint Channel. The survey findings indicate that the most common method people interact with an organization to lodge a complaint is via phone (39 percent), which is followed closely by email (33 percent). The research showed that use of social media is still in its infancy as an issue resolution channel (only 7 percent of those questioned saying they complain via social media) -- but women are more apt to use it than men.

Greatest Gripers are Young and Predominantly Female. Those in the 25-34 Millennial age group topped all other age groups in complaint activity and proclivity, with nearly 80 percent of those polled lodging a complaint within the past three years. This age group was also found to be the most relentless and driven among all age groups surveyed in complaint resolution. Survey findings revealed they use a wider method of communication channels, and a full 39 percent leveraged multiple channels to seek solutions to their issues. Also, women edged out men in being the most active complainers in all age groups.

While the survey didn't quantify the impact on consumers' satisfaction with these organizations as a result of their customer service experiences, a recent survey from an independent industry analyst firm revealed that the majority of customers (71 percent) say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service.i

"A customer complaint presents an opportunity to provide excellent customer service and win that customer over by resolving their issue quickly and to their satisfaction," said James Norwood, chief marketing officer for KANA Software. "But all too often, customer service suffers from a lack of integration and misunderstanding across service channels. This leads to overwhelmed agents, lost productivity, and frustrating and laborious experiences for customers, adding perceived insult to injury.

"It's vital for businesses and organizations to have the right technology in place -- to ensure customer satisfaction as well as agent productivity and organizational profitability -- in today's complaints culture. At KANA, we take a holistic approach to customer service that eradicates wasted time and effort for businesses and customers alike. By aggregating information about the customer, products and all interactions across various channels, KANA empowers customer service agents to understand the full context so they can resolve customer complaints in a timely and satisfactory manner."

About KANA Software
KANA understands the value of great Customer Service experiences. We know every channel through which a customer communicates with -- and about -- your brand. We provide on-premises and cloud solutions for large enterprises and mid-market organizations. By unifying and maintaining context for customer journeys across agent, Web, social and mobile experiences, KANA solutions have reduced handling time, increased resolution rates and improved net promoter scores (NPS) at more than 900 enterprises -- including many of the Fortune 500 and more than 250 government agencies. At KANA, we help create differentiated and personalized customer experiences that count.

KANA is based in Silicon Valley, California and has offices worldwide. For more information visit www.kana.com, phone +1 800-737-8738, and follow KANA on Twitter @KANAsoftware.

KANA is a registered trademark of KANA Software, Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

i Your Customers Are Demanding Omni-Channel Communications. What Are Your Doing About It? a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of KANA Software, March 2013.

Contact Information

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    KANA Software, Inc.
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    Erin Lutz
    Lutz PR for KANA Software, Inc.
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