8 in 10 Singapore consumers prefer human interaction for solving customer service issues

An M1 customer service officer speaking with patrons at an outlet on Dec 19, 2014.
An M1 customer service officer speaking with patrons at an outlet on Dec 19, 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Most people in Singapore prefer human interaction over using digital channels to solve customer service issues, a survey by Accenture Strategy has revealed.

It showed that 83 per cent of consumers prefer dealing with customer service representatives face-to-face rather than through digital channels.

Almost 60 per cent agree that in-store service is the best way to get a tailored experience, while about 40 per cent say they would rather go to a store than use digital channels for advice on products and services.

The survey gauges the experiences and attitudes of 24,489 consumers in 33 countries around the world about marketing, sales and customer services. About 350 consumers in Singapore were included in the sample. The survey was conducted online in August and September 2015 and the results were released on Tuesday (May 24) in a media release.

The survey also found that about 70 per cent of consumers in Singapore have switched service providers in the past year due to poor customer service, with retailers, banks and Internet service providers being some of the worst offenders.

In Singapore, customers switching due to poor service cost companies an estimated US$26 billion (S$36 billion).

However, better customer service makes consumers willing to pay more for goods and services, with nearly 50 per cent of consumers saying that they are willing to pay a higher price for better service.