Good customer service weighs more than low prices for majority of Germans

Published on 2019-11-05

  • Study result: good customer experience is the strongest factor influencing the purchase decision
  • Customer service performance influences 88% of consumers in their purchasing decision
  • High expectations among German consumers: around half expect to receive calls within one minute
  • Germans prefer classic contact media to new technological possibilities


Mainz - Good customer service is very important to German consumers, even more important than low prices. This is the most important result of the current study Kundenservicebarometer 2019. Customer service quality pays off above all on brand loyalty: Almost all of the 1,000 consumers surveyed stated that service has a strong influence on the company's image and their own purchasing decisions. The low price is only in second place in terms of relevance to a company's brand image.
The study, commissioned by Armonia Deutschland GmbH, which awards the title of Gewählt zum Kundenservice des Jahres (Voted Customer Service of the Year in Germany), also examined the preferences of German consumers as to how they would like to get in touch with companies.

Classic before modern

Three quarters of consumers said they had contacted a customer service centre within the last year. At 53 percent, the telephone is the most frequently used contact channel, followed by e-mail. Contact via social media channels is only hesitantly perceived here in Germany. Only 7 percent of those surveyed have contacted a company via the Facebook page, other social media were used by 4 percent. Nevertheless, the potential of technological innovations is there; around a quarter contacted customer service via chat, on a par with personal contact.


When the patience is wearing thin

Nearly two thirds of consumers in the study said that long waiting times until first contact with the customer service representative annoyed them most. Nearly one in two expected to speak to a contact person after a maximum of one minute, while one in ten even allowed companies only 30 seconds. New digital contact options become particularly important if a request is to be processed as quickly as possible. While more than a third of Germans expect a response to an e-mail enquiry within one day, only 8 percent consider it reasonable if companies need more than 12 hours to respond via social media channels. Every fifth consumer expects an immediate response when contacting the company's chat.

Lack of confidence in technical progress

The low take-up of new technological contact opportunities is due to a lack of trust. Not even one in ten trust the answer when talking to a chatbot. In contrast, personal contact with the company is rated most reliably by 61 percent of German consumers. When it comes to customer contact, individualised information tailored to the customer is also increasingly important: more than a quarter criticise the receipt of pre-formulated, impersonal answers. This could also be the reason for the unpopularity of the chat offer, as 42 percent of those questioned do not want to use it to contact the company.

Purchase argument: customer service quality

For 88 percent of consumers, the quality of customer service is decisive for their purchase decision. Money does not play the main role here: a favourable price moves into second place as a reason for choosing a brand. Almost three quarters of those surveyed are even prepared to spend more if contact with customer service is satisfactory. Customer service quality is of great relevance: almost everyone agrees that it has a lasting effect on a company's image.



The complete Customer Service Barometer is available free of charge at https://kundenservicedesjahres.de/results#study.