The 10 winners of the seal "Voted Customer Service of the Year 2023".
COMPANY - BRAND - CATEGORY
- Neato Robotics Europe GmbH - Neato Robotics - Robot Vacuum Cleaner
- Medion AG - Medion - household electronics & TV
- Huawei Technologies Deutschland GmbH - Huawei - Consumer Electronics (ex. Smartphones/Tablets)
- Abbott GmbH - Diabetes Care - FreeStyle Libre - Medical devices
- Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG - O2 - Telecommunications
- Michelin Reifenwerke AG & Co. KGaA - Michelin - tire manufacturer
- IONOS SE - IONOS by 1&1 - Hosting services
- Weltbild GmbH & Co. KG - Weltbild.de - Mail order
- MÖBEL MARTIN GMBH & CO. KG - Möbel Martin - Furniture trade
- Weber-Stephen Deutschland GmbH - Weber - barbecue manufacturer
The test phase
Companies from 11 categories faced mystery inquiries from May 23 - July 29, 2022. Over a period of 10 weeks, more than 5,000 tests were realized.
Based on up to 15 criteria, such as the evaluation of elementary soft skills, the quality of the exchange and the waiting time or accessibility, the customer experience could be measured in detail.
How does a test work? During the test phase, mystery testers confront the customer service of the participating companies with a test series of a total of 225 inquiries. These are divided into 140 calls, 45 e-mail inquiries, 15 Internet navigation tests, 10 social media inquiries and 15 chat inquiries. Both internal and external teams were tested again this year.
Customer service as a success factor
Where customers feel comfortable and experience good service, they will buy again. In the annual study conducted by Armonia Deutschland GmbH, more than half of consumers stated that good customer service is more important to them than low prices. Ulf Michaelis, Director Customer Service & Sales at O2 Telefónica, has the following to say about this: "As O2 Telefónica, we aim to inspire our customers with our first-class services every day [...]. After all, service quality is a decisive factor in customer satisfaction. We offer our customers a variety of different ways and channels to get in touch with us. In this way, we ensure that our customers enjoy an excellent service experience in every contact with us [...]. Together we are changing the telco market for the better." Accordingly, good customer service has long been part of the DNA of most companies, and the fact that it is an enormous challenge to keep up with the times is confirmed by Thomas Heiermann, Managing Director After Sales Services at MEDION AG: "All customers' expectations of customer service are characterized by a high degree of transparency and authenticity. This is where we win or lose our customers' trust in our product, brand and company. Customer service today must keep pace with the ever-changing demands of customers. A balanced approach in the use of all technical and communicative possibilities to understand the customers is the pivotal point in our actions. The employees are the capital that can react flexibly and adapted to each individual case."
Results in detail
The most successful participant performed particularly well in the overall results across all channels. With an overall performance of 85.9 points, tire manufacturer Michelin leads the ranking. The highest score of the entire competition was achieved on the Internet navigation channel with 96.4 points (Weltbild). Three companies failed to reach the required minimum mark of 60 points.
The average for all participants this year is 63.5 points (-5 points compared to last year), while the average for all award winners is 72.6 points (- 3.1 points compared to last year). Overall, the results of the participants range from 35.3 - 85.9 points, so there is a clear range. These results include both successful and unsuccessful tests. For example, on the e-mail channel, the test is aborted if the inquiry is not answered after 4 days. The test then receives 0 points and is included in the final score. The "unsuccessful" tests have an important informative value about the accessibility of a company. The participant with one of the largest gaps scored 83 points in the service grade on the e-mail channel. Including accessibility, the score was only 42.4 points. This could be observed especially on the phone and email channel, at many companies. Similar to last year, it can be deduced that one of the major challenges for many companies is still accessibility.
Performance on all 5 channels
Slight declines are evident on the phone and email channels this year (phone -7 percentage points ; email -5 percentage points). As these two channels have the strongest weighting, the deterioration leads to a weaker overall average performance of 64 percentage points (across all participants and channels).
Among participants, the Internet Navigation channel leads the ranking again this year with 89 percentage points, followed by the Social Media channel with 65 percentage points. Bringing up the rear is chat (48 percentage points). This proves to be the contact medium with the highest optimization potential across all participants. In live chat, as well as in communication with the chatbot, the personal elements in particular, such as addressing the customer by name, can be further expanded. In terms of accessibility, chat surprisingly scores the lowest with only 67 points, even though, according to the customer service barometer (consumer study on customer service use), it is used by many customers precisely because it can be reached quickly. The requirement for a "feasible test" with chat is to speak to an employee within 3 minutes of opening the chat window. This could not be fulfilled for many companies.
In the case of inquiries via e-mail or the contact form, the participants were able to respond relatively quickly to increased customer inquiries, but performance hardly changed at 75% (cf. 2022: 77%) (response within 4 days, then "not feasible").