Canadians willing to spend more for excellent customer service

American Express survey looked at consumer attitudes and preferences

More than three quarters of Canadians are willing to shell out more to companies with a history of great customer service, and most will share their service experiences with others, even if they aren’t positive, according to the American Express Global Service Barometer.

“Great customer service has long been a key ingredient of successful companies everywhere, and these survey results clearly indicate the effect it has on a company’s bottom line,” said Julie Hay, vice-president and general manager, world service at American Express Canada, in a release.

The survey, which was also conducted in nine other countries, examined consumer attitudes and preferences around customer service to find out how much impact service has on consumer behaviour.

Survey by: American Express, which operates in Canada as Amex Bank of Canada and Amex Canada Inc.

Methodology: Research was completed online among a random sample of 1,001 Canadian consumers 18+. Interviews were conducted by Ebiquity, a team of independent marketing performance specialists, between August 19 and September 2, 2014

Key findings:

76% of respondents said they’ve spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service, and on average will spend 12% more.

57% said they had walked away from a business transaction or purchase in the past year due to a poor customer service experience.

40% of Canadians believe businesses are paying less attention to customer service (more than any other country surveyed) and only 2% think companies exceed their customer service expectations.

94% said they talk about their service experiences, even if they aren’t positive. On average, Canadians said they tell eight people about a good experience and 17 about a bad one.

44% said positive word-of-mouth from friends and family was more powerful in attracting new business than a sale or promotion (34%) and much more effective than “an interesting ad” (3%).

21% have used social media to get a customer service response in the past year, and 55% felt Canadian companies improved their response times over social media channels.

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