A NEW study has found that many younger Australians are unhappy with the state of modern customer service, with researchers arguing that internet is the cause.
The Customer Service Institute of Australia (CSIA) reveals that young childless couples have the highest levels of dissatisfaction when it comes to the customer service they receive from Australia's major companies.
On the flip side, Australians over the age of 65 are far more upbeat about the same, showing a 92 per cent positive attitude toward customer service across the 15 tested industries.
CSIA CEO Anouche Newman says this generational shift is likely due to the fact friendliness is harder to communicate across online channels, the medium where millennials feel most comfortable transacting.
"Young people are more willing to jump online rather than wait to talk to someone over the phone these days, and friendliness can be harder to communicate in an online environment," says Newman.
"In contrast, older people are used to communicating with providers and suppliers over the phone where they are more accustomed to waiting, and where many businesses focus their customer service efforts."
Newman says Australian businesses are also struggling to deliver authentic and friendly customer service channels outside of the storefront.
"The issue is that few businesses are providing a genuinely holistic approach to customer service and are not delivering the same quality of friendliness when they connect with consumers online," says Newman.
"Many businesses are also more focused on the functional aspects of products and services, as opposed to the emotional connection with customers."
The CSIA study confirmed that face-to-face interaction is the most affable means of communication, while over-the-phone interaction is voted the least friendly channel.
Out of the tested industries, internet service providers are deemed the most pleasant bunch, while water and electricity utilities are dubbed the most unfriendly.
Newman adds that when it comes to keeping a satisfied consumer engaged with a business or product, friendliness is key.
"Academic studies have shown that customers are more likely to make a purchase based on how they feel about a brand, as opposed to logic and need," says Newman.
"When companies engage with their customers on a personal level, this often translates into higher sales."
CSIA commissioned its latest research to delve further into the role that friendliness plays when it comes to customer engagement, purchasing and the use of a brand's products and services.
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