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New 2021 Study: 62% of Companies Ignore Customer Service Emails

Customer service benchmark report

Post summary:

  • The SuperOffice customer service benchmark report
  • Key findings and take aways from new customer service study
  • 12 customer service influencers share their insights about the new study

To create loyal and happy customers, we have to deliver excellent customer service.

In fact, research has found that 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.

And here lies something interesting.

In a 2005 study titled “Closing the delivery gap”, Bain & Company found that 80% of companies believe they are delivering a superior service. And yet, only 8% of customers believe that they are receiving excellent service – meaning that there are many businesses out there that believe the service they provide to their customers is better than they think.

mind the customer service gap

With that in mind, we wanted to identify how many businesses actually deliver excellent service.

Customer Service Benchmark Report

Today we’re excited to release our new study, the Customer Service Benchmark report, which is a study of how 1,000 companies handle customer support. The report, which is 25 pages of customer support insight, took several months to complete, and is now available.

When you read the customer service benchmark report, you will learn:

  • How companies compare to each other in customer service
  • How companies manage and respond to customer support requests
  • What others can learn from "best in class" companies

Answering customer emails is a good sign of how companies manage customer support. To keep the study simple, we sent one customer service email template to each of the 1,000 companies with two questions. Based on the speed, quality and tone, we scored each response out of 100, where 1 is poor and 100 is excellent.

Key findings

The new study shows several alarming trends based on the response of 1,000 companies and a list of best practices based on the top performers.

Here are the key findings:

  • 62% of companies do not respond to customer service emails (Tweet this!)
  • 90% of companies do not acknowledge or inform the customer that an email has been received (Tweet this!)
  • 97% of companies do not send a follow up email to customers to see if they are satisfied with the response (Tweet this!)
  • Only 20% of companies are able to answer questions in full on the first reply (Tweet this!)
  • The average response time to handle a customer service request is 12 hours and 10 minutes (Tweet this!)

The research shows that a majority of the 1,000 companies in the study are failing to meet customer expectations and costing millions of dollars in lost customers and unnecessary internal follow-up customer service benchmark report

Here's what customer service experts Shep Hyken, Adam Toporek, Chad Armel, Katharine Giovanni, Jeff ToisterJeanne Bliss, Jeremy Watkin, Erica Marois, Eric de HaanArnout HellemansJan Willem Alphenaar and Leslie O'Flahavan had to say about the report:

Shep hyken quote on Customer service study 2017

Adam Toporak quote on customer service study 2017

Chad Armal quote on customer service study 2017

Katharine Giovanni quote on customer service benchmark report 2017

Jeff Toister quote on customer service benchmark report

Jeanne Bliss quote on customer service benchmark report

Eric de Haan Customer Service Influencer

Erica Marois customer service influencer quote on new study

Jeremy Watkins customer service quote on benchmark report

Arnout Hellemans quote on benchmark report

Jan Willem Alphenaar customer benchmark quote

Leslie O Flahavan customer service quote


Delivering excellent service to your customers isn’t rocket science.

In fact, based on what we have learned from the study, it looks simple. So download the report to learn about the strategies you should be using to improve the quality of service you provide.

Once you finish reading the report, you will be armed with the knowledge to make improvements to your own customer service department and then use the lessons we've shared to create a one of a kind “best in class”  support team to help keep more customers.

What do you think of the customer service benchmark report?

Leave a comment below to tell us what you think.

P.S. If you got something valuable from the new benchmark report, you can share it on Twitter here!

access the benchmark report

Note: This is the third annual customer service benchmark report published by SuperOffice. The first report analyzed 250 companies. The second report analyzed 500 companies. This year, we analyzed 1,000 companies.

Customer Service

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Rodney Fisher

5 years ago

Great article really appreciated, I train in the Telemarketing industry how important customer service excellency is. so I really appreciate the great info you wrote. Great Job! Right on the mark.

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Steven MacDonald

5 years ago

Glad you enjoyed the customer service benchmark study, Rodney.

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5 years ago

Customer Service Support Software is one of the best way to interact with Sales Team and customers. If the customer raises tickets then it is stored in ticketing so anyone in the team can reply for the customer queries.

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Steven MacDonald

5 years ago

Excellent, comment Karthik! And I completely agree.

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Jeff Toister

4 years ago

Thanks for including me, Steven! Your study highlights a key gap for many companies that serve customers via email. It's also an enormous opportunity for the elite companies that do it well, since they'll stand out from a very mediocre crowd!

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Ines Pljakic

4 years ago

Steven, I think you did a great job for doing this study - it's important to know that majority of companies are failing to meet customer expectations and costing millions of dollars in lost customers.

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Steven MacDonald

4 years ago

Thanks, Ines! Glad to hear you like it. Feel free to use or reference the report.

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Shep Hyken

4 years ago

Excellent information! And, thank you for including my comments in the article.

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Jennifer Fernando

3 years ago

Awesome post. Thank your for sharing such a nice article.

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2 years ago

Hi! Please if you share to us such analytic please provide us with the source. Because I don't know where did you get this information and how can you prove it. Thanks!

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Steven MacDonald

2 years ago

Hi, thanks for leaving a comment. SuperOffice is the source of this research. We conducted it ourselves. If you would like to know more about the methodology, you can download the full report here:

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Nima Marcus

one year ago

This is an excellent round up of customer service statistics. Hard to believe that over 50% of companies can't keep up with their email support. I hope this study will shed light on the gap so that we as a support community can minimize the efforts. It will be interesting to see how agent desks and AI platforms help alleviate some of the high response times in the future. Thanks again for compiling this report.

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Steven MacDonald

one year ago

Thanks Nima. I appreciate the support.