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11.30.-1 | blog
Author: Taylor Jones

It’s happened to all of us. You call a brand’s customer service, and for a variety of possible reasons, your issue doesn’t get resolved on your first point of contact. It doesn’t sound that bad, but when it’s an issue that you’re having to spend your valuable time to resolve, it can be very frustrating.

Arise commissioned a Google Consumer Survey of over 1,500 U.S. consumers asking them the following question: “Rate your level of frustration if your issue is not resolved during your first contact with a company’s customer service.”  Respondents could report their frustration on a 1 to 7 Likert Scale, where 1 is “Not Frustrated at All” and 7 is “Extremely Frustrated.”

Overall Results

The overall results of the survey were as follows[1]:

  1. Over 90% of respondents report some level of frustration when they encounter a language barrier when interacting with a company’s customer service representative
  2. Nearly a quarter (22.1%) of respondents expressed extreme frustration when their issue was not resolved during their first contact with customer service.
  3. Over 60% of respondents expressed higher than average levels of frustration (5, 6, or 7).

 

Talkdesk’s 2015 “What Customers Want from Support Contact Centers” Study showed that swift issue resolution was what customers wanted most from support contact centers (42% of respondents’ top choice), just beating out being answered quickly (40%), and having a personal interaction with an agent (40%). The Arise Frustration Study goes a step further and shows what the result can be if companies fail to provide swift issue resolution during the first contact. With more than 9 in 10 people expressing some frustration and 6 in 10 expressing high levels of frustration when their issue is not resolved at the first point of contact, it’s fair to say these frustrations are definitely drivers of the poor customer experiences that drives nearly half of people to switch providers afterwards.

Results by Age Group

There were some interesting insights into the level of patience consumers have with issue resolution when you slice the data by age group. Overall, consumers age 25-34 were the most frustrated when issues aren’t resolved quickly, with an average score of 4.92. They are followed closely by consumers age 35-44 with an average score of 4.91. Perhaps surprisingly, baby boomers were the most patient with customer service reps with the lowest average frustration scores.  Consumers over 65 had an average score of 4.66 followed by those 55-64 at 4.73. 

Here are some other insights looking at issue resolution frustration by age group:

  1. For respondents in younger age groups 18-24, 25-34, and 35-44 the top answer choice was “extremely frustrated” (7) while for older age groups, answer choices 5 & 6 were the most popular. “5” was more popular for respondents 45-54 and “6” was the most popular for respondents over 55.
  2. Respondents between 45 and 64 had the largest group of people report they were not “not frustrated at all” (1) at 10.9% of respondents. This is compared to 9.2% for respondents of all other age groups.
 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Average Score

18-24

7.8%

7.8%

6.1%

19.9%

22.1%

11.1%

25.3%

4.76

25-34

9.2%

6.7%

2.9%

15.6%

22.1%

17.0%

26.5%

4.92

35-44

9.5%

6.4%

6.8%

12.0%

19.0%

19.0%

27.3%

4.91

45-54

10.9%

6.2%

6.8%

14.3%

22.6%

19.5%

19.7%

4.69

55-64

10.9%

1.0%

8.5%

19.2%

21.5%

22.5%

16.5%

4.73

65+

9.9%

6.2%

6.6%

17.5%

20.8%

22.8%

16.2%

4.66

 

 

Below Average

Average

Above Average

18-24

21.7%

19.9%

58.5%

25-34

18.8%

15.6%

65.6%

35-44

22.7%

12.0%

65.3%

45-54

23.9%

14.3%

61.8%

55-64

20.4%

19.2%

60.5%

65+

22.7%

17.5%

59.8%

 

Results By Gender

There wasn’t much difference between male and female respondents in aggregate with both reporting above-average frustration (score greater than 4) when their issue is not resolved on first contact with an overall average score of 4.79 for men and 4.78 for women.

Here are some other insights looking at issue resolution frustration by gender:

  1. Men expressed above-average frustrations slightly more often than women with responses 5, 6, & 7 making up 62.9% of the total for men compared to 61.5% for women.
  2. Women had slightly stronger opinions on the extremes of either being extremely frustrated or not frustrated at all with answer choices 1 & 7 comprised 32.1% of responses women while only 31.6% for men.
  3. Extremely frustrated (7) was the #1 answer choice for women at 22.0% while slightly above average frustration (5) was the top choice for men at 22.7%.

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

Average Score

Male

9.4%

5.8%

6.1%

15.7%

22.7%

18.0%

22.2%

4.79

Female

10.1%

5.6%

6.3%

16.6%

20.1%

19.4%

22.0%

4.78

 

The raw survey data is accessible here.

 

[1] Results Using Google Consumer Surveys’ Post-Stratification Methodology. The Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) score of this study was 3.7%.

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