New Study: 62% of Companies Ignore Customer Service Emails

New Study: 62% of Companies Ignore Customer Service Emails

Post summary:

  • 2018 Customer service benchmark report
  • Key findings and take aways from new study
  • What customer service influencers think about the report

To get loyal and happy customers, we all know that we have to deliver excellent customer service.  In fact, research has found that 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better 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.

Closing the delivery gap study by Bains & Company

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 2018 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 follow up with 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 work.

Benchmark download 2017

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. And once you finish reading the report, you have 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.

customer service benchmark download

What do you think of the new 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!

Customer service benchmark report link to guide

Note: This is the third annual customer service benchmark published by SuperOffice. The first report was published in 2016 and included an analysis of 250 companies. The second report was published in 2017 and included an analysis of 500 companies. This year, we analyzed 1,000 companies.

Customer Service

About Steven MacDonald

Steven MacDonald

Steven Macdonald is an online marketer based in Tallinn, Estonia. His first blog post was published in 2010 and Steven has been a featured writer for Content Marketing Institute, Marketing Profs and Smart Insights. Since working with SuperOffice, he has led the growth of the blog from 0 to 2 million visitors. You can connect with Steven on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Rodney Fisher

about 2 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.


Steven MacDonald

about 2 years ago

Glad you enjoyed the customer service benchmark study, Rodney.



about 2 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.


Steven MacDonald

about 2 years ago

Excellent, comment Karthik! And I completely agree.


Jeff Toister

about 1 year 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!


Ines Pljakic

about 1 year 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.


Steven MacDonald

about 1 year ago

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


Shep Hyken

about 3 months ago

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


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