Customer satisfaction rose globally for the second consecutive quarter after more than a year in decline, according to the quarterly Zendesk Benchmark report released today. For the third quarter of 2013, the average customer satisfaction rating reached 82 percent, its highest level since the first quarter of 2012. Zendesk, a global provider of software for better customer service, tracks customer satisfaction and service trends each quarter based on actual interactions between 16,000 participating companies and their customers.


A speedy response – and the best time to get it

The report also examined the impact of time of day, support channel, and customer tenure on customer satisfaction. Looking at first reply time (FRT) and ticket created hour, a slow first response unsurprisingly leads to lower satisfaction while speedy replies result in more successful customer service interactions. Tickets submitted outside normal business hours have the slowest FRT but response time speeds up to peak between 9am – 11 a.m, at the start of the business day, with customer satisfaction rating at 79% during this period.


UK static in the top 10 but emerging markets on the rise

Customer Satisfaction in the UK remains at No 6 in the top 10, at 87%. Significant gains in countries with fast-growing economies, including Brazil and Russia, coupled with increased ratings in historically low-scoring industries like social media and telecommunications, have attributed to higher levels of global customer satisfaction. Russia, a country that has historically struggled with customer service has been steadily rising to break into the top three this quarter. Brazil proved to be another notable emerging market, making the largest percentage gain this quarter (up 10 percentage points). Companies in these fast-growing economies appear to be putting an increased emphasis on delivering better customer service in order to sustain their growth.

Customer Satisfaction by Country

Best Countries:

  • Canada: 91% (no change from Q2)

  • Australia: 91% (+2 percentage points)

  • Russia: 90% (+4 percentage points)


Worst Countries:

  • China: 55% (n/a)

  • United Arab Emirates: 59% (+1 percentage point)

  • British Virgin Islands: 65% (-2 percentage points)


Customer Satisfaction by Industry


Best Industries:

  • Education: 95% (no change from Q2)

  • IT Services & Consultancy: 95% (no change)

  • Government & Non-profit : 95% (+1 percentage point)


Worst Industries:

  • Social Media: 67% (+3 percentage point change from Q2)

  • Financial & Insurance Services: 76% (-1 percentage point)

  • Entertainment & Gaming: 76% (no change)



It’s still good to talk

As companies strive to provide an integrated customer experience across multiple channels, the report shows that the most traditional channel, phone or voice services, receives the highest level of satisfaction. Channels with 1:1 real-time interactions exhibit high levels of customer satisfaction while newer channels, like Twitter and Facebook, rank last as companies experiment with best social support practices.

“The Omni-channel consumer is on the rise, jumping just as easily from a traditional call to the web and email or from Facebook to Twitter, to get their voice heard,” commented Matt Price, VP and General Manager at Zendesk. “The Zendesk Benchmark shows that companies must maintain a consistent level of service for each channel. There are signs of improvement but companies must first understand their customers' expectations from each channel before they can make customer service truly seamless."


About the Zendesk Benchmark

The Zendesk Benchmark is based on actual customer service and support interactions between 16,000 participating companies and their customers across 125 countries. Introduced in March 2012, it allows companies to compare their customer service performance against industry peers. Its measures key metrics around customer support efficiency, customer self-service behavior, and levels of customer engagement.  Customer satisfaction is based on the percentage of positive responses to the question of whether or not a customer was satisfied with a customer service interaction. For a country to be included in the quarterly report, it must have a minimum of 10,000 responses during the quarter.



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