Germans spend 10.2 billion hours a year sorting out customer service enquiries, by far the most in Europe, according to the latest pan European customer service survey conducted by DHL Express.
Britons collectively spend 5.8 billion hours and Italians 5.4 billion hours, while in France and Poland the figure is 3.5 and 3.3 billion respectively, and in Sweden the number is much lower at 737 million hours.
From a global perspective, the United States is viewed as the country that provides the highest level of customer service according to 47 per cent of respondents, this is followed by the UK at 25 per cent, Germany at five per cent and Australia at two per cent.
George Kerschbaumer, executive vice president, commercial of DHL Express, said: “The findings from the pan Europe Customer Service Survey are essential for developing strategies that have a regional reach and at the same time offer insights into country-specific requirements that need to be considered when implementing them. It helps us to review the general market trends with our own internal Customer Relations findings.”
27 per cent of consumers in Britain said customer service is the most important factor to them when making a purchasing decision second only to products and services, which 35 per cent of respondents cited.
The survey also found that women (29 per cent) are more concerned about customer service compared to men (24 per cent) in the UK.
Ken McCall, CEO of DHL Express UK and Ireland, said: “We commissioned this survey to determine the most important aspects of customer service for people living in Britain’s key cities, as compared to other European countries. From our standpoint, it has been helpful to align our customer service initiatives at different touch points, ranging from our couriers to customer service staff, to meet the different market needs of that of UK and other key markets within Europe.”
The results illustrate that British consumers have high expectations for customer service with 86 per cent of consumers expecting courtesy, 81 per cent wanting the operator or assistant to be helpful and 78 per cent wanting clear advice.
The research was conducted on behalf of DHL Express by Tickbox and was based on a survey of 6,435 people across France, Germany, Italy Poland, Sweden and the UK.