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  • NETMEDIA International

Customer service, a core competitive advantage

Dissatisfied with customer services, the French are looking for more direct and efficient solutions at the risk of turning to the competition, according to a study conducted by Yext.

More than a third of French people have had a bad customer service experience in the last 12 months.

Two main reasons explain this disappointment: waiting and resolution time (for 56.6%) and irrelevant answers (for 33.2%). This is in essence what the study on French people's expectations in terms of customer service revealed by Yext, an AI specialist for online research, on December 1st. It reminds us of the importance of responsive customer service and online solutions that allow people to solve their own problems independently. The study shows the stakes of this strategic service in terms of reputation, as well as on the economic, competitive and organizational levels. In detail,

- 24.3% of participants felt that the response they received was completely incorrect and inappropriate

- 22.1% found the customer service agent incompetent

- 21.3% even found the agent unsympathetic

-18.3% had to deal with unavailable customer service

- 16.3% had to deal with an agent who was unable to answer the question asked

- 10.6% were even hung up on!

Eight out of ten French people are likely to turn to a competitor as a result of these setbacks, and 57.9% think that companies are not doing enough to optimize their customer service.

Self-service solutions

The study shows that 92% of French people think it is important to find the information they are looking for on their own, without having to contact an advisor. However, environ un répondant sur cinq n'a pas obtenu de réponse satisfaisante à ses interrogations sur les pages d'aide en ligne et 23,1 % des personnes ont signalé des problèmes d'utilisation.

Among the problems encountered most frequently on the online help pages, the French say that: the question is not listed in the FAQ (9.7%), the answer does not correspond to the information sought (9.2%) or that the answer is not at all related to the subject of their question (9%).

Customer service, a driver of competitiveness

When consumers do not find the information they are looking for on online help pages, they first contact customer service by phone (62.6%) or by email (42%), which costs the company in terms of human resources and productivity. In addition, almost a third of French people dissatisfied with the results on online help pages (30.8%) look for an answer on Google, exposing themselves directly to the competition. Finally, after this mishap, 32.6% of them openly complain to their friends and family, on social networks or by leaving negative comments, which is highly prejudicial to the company's reputation.

Online help pages: a growth lever

The overwhelming majority of French people (86.1%) say that it is important for their satisfaction to receive answers to their questions directly on the online help page. Close to half of the participants (47.7%) stated that they would use a site's help page regularly if they could find more precise answers in the results provided. An optimized help page influences user confidence: not only do 79% of French people say they trust a company that answers their questions directly on its own website, but they are also more likely to buy a product or service (79%).

Important differences by sector of activity

The e-commerce industry stands out, praised for its customer service with 70% approval, followed by healthcare (61%) and the restaurant sector (59%). On the other hand, there is an urgent need for improvement in the government and public sector (22%), transport and logistics (16%) and telecommunications (19%).


The data for this report was collected on behalf of Yext by Innofact AG, an independent market research company. A total of 3,009 people aged 18-69 in Germany, France and the UK (including 1,000 in France), who have been in contact with a customer service department and/or used a company's help page in the past 12 months, completed an online questionnaire in October 2021. In each country, the study samples are representative of the population by gender, age and region. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.

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