LONDON, January 26, 2015 -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- The Culture of Service Appreciation in Hong Kong Survey Report 2014 was released today by The Hong Kong Association for Customer Service Excellence (HKACE), the prestigious organisation fostering customer service excellence in Hong Kong, and renowned independent market research company Ipsos.
The study provides an analysis of key trends of service appreciation in the Customer Service Industry in Hong Kong, surveying over 1,400 customers, employers and employees.
Customer service experience positive at high levels
83% of Hong Kong consumers say they experienced positive customer service in 2014, similar to the score as previous year (82% last year), while the proportion of people having a negative customer service experience declined to 38%, against 41% in 2013.
The score related to the most recent customer service experience is equally encouraging: this experience was above expectations for 51% of surveyed consumers.
Of those having experienced a positive experience, 92% say they did show appreciation in one way or another, while 79% of people having a negative experience complained.
HK consumers want to play their part in improving the quality of service in Hong Kong: nearly half (49%) say the reason they give feedback is because they want to specifically encourage and show appreciation for good customer service.
Generational differences: “one size doesn’t fit all”
Nevertheless results and attitudes towards service appreciation do significantly differ by consumer age groups.
-Customers below 25 represent the most participative group of customers, with 52% claiming they want to encourage promotion of service culture (vs. 45% on average).
They are quite understandably most likely to share good feedback on the service they received via social media (29% against 20% on average) rather than directly to friends and colleagues (49% against 54% on average).
53% say they would post a complaint for bad service via social media (only 28% average) rather than via other means, and 34% of those who received poor service actually did share this online (against 25% on average).
They are also the most likely group to recommend a store or brand to their friends after receiving good service (58% against 51% on average)
-The 25 to 34 year old group is the most demanding customer group in Hong Kong: only 43% agree that the quality of service they received is beyond expectations (against 51% for the general public).
They are not the most social media savvy group and tend to favor direct human interactions: 63% would choose to share their service experience with friends and colleagues.
Still, they are the group most likely to go back to a store again if satisfied (65% against 58% on average), showing that, while they are harder to please, they could offer great return on investment once engaged.
-The 35 to 44 group is the ‘quiet one’; they are least likely to interact with brands to voice their satisfaction or displeasure. Only 38% want to encourage the promotion of the service culture in Hong Kong (against 45% on average) or voice out positive feedback (42% against 49%).
When it comes to feedback channels, they are also the least likely to share appreciation via social media or to friends & colleagues. Instead, they would rather talk directly to service staff.
Mr. Simon Tye, Executive Director of Ipsos: “this segment has considerable importance in shaping the morale of staff since they are more likely to interact with them. They represent a crucial population in Hong Kong”
The group over 45 is the most satisfied one; 57% rate the quality of service as beyond expectations (vs. 51% on average), and they are fairly likely to share feedback on the services they receive.
Employee and corporate perspectives to further improve the service culture
Both employees and companies believe that there are well developed processes in place to collect customer feedback. Top performers in this area would be the retail and the financial industries: 97% of retail employees and 95% of staff working in Financial Services say feedback systems in their organization are well developed. In terms of incentive and motivation means for good services, the majority regard financial incentives and opportunities for promotion as best (80% and 70% respectively).
In addition, 74% of employees in the whole service sector received some form of customer appreciation and 37% believe that the service appreciation culture in Hong Kong has improved in the past year (47% think it is stable, 16% worse).
Employers interviewed as part of the study explain they intend to build even more customer-centric organizations and to implement innovative reward systems to encourage their employees to deliver the highest levels of service.
The main challenge relates to increased speed in omni-channel and digital environments. The Generation Y use of social media creates new opportunities in terms of interaction with brands but it does add complexity for many companies at this stage.
Mr. James Tong, Chairman of HKACE: “This year’s survey findings are extremely encouraging, with high customer satisfaction and service appreciation scores. New strategies to engage with different age segments and to accelerate appreciation for great service will allow for improved employee motivation, customer satisfaction and organizational performance”
Telephone: (852) 9871 6927