The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show

March 2–4, 2025 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

The World’s Leading Home + Housewares Show
March 2—4 | McCormick Place | Chicago, IL

If you’ve felt like you’ve been put “on hold” for too long recently, you’re not alone. Consumers around the world are feeling especially frustrated with customer service, and they’re not afraid to act on it.

Seventy-four percent of American customers said they experienced a product or service problem in the last year, according to a 2023 survey from Customer Care Measurement & Consulting; 56% felt that the problem wasted their time, 43% said they wasted money and 31% cited emotional distress.

Many shoppers won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere after just one negative customer experience. (We found statistics ranging from 50%-96%.)

What’s more, any retailer or brand company knows many global consumers are not afraid to voice their displeasure with customer service on social media or in online reviews. And that increasingly influences other potential customers; 97% of respondents in Springboard Future’s 2023 Value Equation Index said online ratings and reviews play a role in their purchase decisions, 66% said they were very or extremely important.

Increasing Importance

To increase short-term sales and build long-term brand loyalty, retailers and brand companies are wise to pay close attention to the customer service experience.

There’s general agreement that customer service is now a key driver of brand loyalty. Customer service agents are now the primary way customers are engaging with brands, says Zendesk. That’s certainly the case with the increasing number of online purchases, but it may be true even if a product is purchased in-store.

Yet, some companies may have been devoting less resources to customer service recently while consumers have increasing expectations. Other companies have had staffing issues or have tried experimenting with AI, which may have increased wait times and led to fewer successful outcomes in customer call centers or chat help desks.

Keeping It Human

No doubt, AI has dramatically improved and become more readily available in just the last few years,  and it can help handle some basic customer service requests. But anyone who’s spent any time with a chat bot or trying to explain the reason for their call to an automated phone system knows they have their limits.

“A lot of fascinating work is being done in the broad world of AI-enhanced software and automation applications,” Josh Magsam, vice president of Partner Operations at PartnerHero, told Nicereply in an article about 2023 customer service trends. “Many of these tools can really be a lifesaver for your team, but customers still want quick and effective access to a friendly, knowledgeable human who can understand their problem and help troubleshoot. For success in 2023, you have to look for ways to humanize your support—whether that’s training for phone agents, dialing back the use of macros and allowing for unscripted responses, or some other solution unique to your ecosystem.”

To improve customer service, many recommend focusing on employees (or even outsourced call center staffers), since they’re the ones training front line workers, taking calls or responding in chats, or handling requests in-person in a store.

“Highly engaged customer service employees always lead to higher (customer) satisfaction,” added Tim Jordan, manager of customer support, at “In a tougher economic climate, every business needs to be proactive about keeping employees happy, productive and growing.”

Paul Tucker, director of product support at EveryoneSocial, agreed: “Companies that focus on building teams of empathetic, engaged and skilled communicators will succeed.”


Time is an important component of consumers’ service needs. 70% of respondents to the 2023 IHA Market Watch Report said they wished they had more time or more resources to save time. In fact, 23% said they always wished they had more time. Learn more about five main issues driving consumer activity here.

Get Ready for The Inspired Home Show 2024!

March 17-19, 2024