KUALA LUMPUR/SINGAPORE: Nearly 80% of consumers would be prepared to stop buying from a brand that delivers poor customer experience, while 72% would advise their family and friends to follow suit, a new regional survey has shown.

Fifth Quadrant, a customer experience consultancy, teamed up with software company LogMeIn to survey more than 1,500 consumers in Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines.

The report uncovered some good news for brands insofar as a majority of consumers (69%) felt satisfied with their overall customer support experiences, but that included just 25% who reported a high rate of satisfaction.

But a key recommendation for brands wanting to improve their customer service is to ensure queries are dealt with quickly.

Connecting customers to a representative who can help to resolve a query emerged as the key driver of satisfaction for 37% of respondents, while 43% said they get most frustrated with the time it can take to reach one.

Other frustrations included automated telephony systems (40%), having to repeat information (18%) and having to wait a long time to get an answer (15%).

A majority of respondents indicated that they expected a response within 10 minutes if they had a query over the phone (73%) or via live chat (71%).

However, speed of resolution was not the only issue because an increasing number of consumers are turning to mobile and online channels for information, yet these involve more interactions than traditional channels to achieve resolution.

Almost half (48%) of the survey participants said they used a company's website first before contacting customer service, but the report found that digital channels require 8.3 interactions for each issue resolution compared with 2.8 interactions per query on traditional channels.

This suggested digital channels are not as efficient as traditional ones to resolve customer queries, the report said, adding that organisations should integrate their systems to deliver a seamless experience.

"Contact centres can tap on technology to understand cross-channel behaviour, reduce response times and link customers' digital interactions with their profiles and case records," said Steve Nuttall, research director at Fifth Quadrant.

"By optimising online support and guiding customers to the right channel for their issues, businesses will find that they are better able to reduce customer effort, improve resolution rates and customer satisfaction."

Data sourced from LogMeIn, Fifth Quadrant; additional content by Warc staff