Customer Service in all its forms (consumer electronics)


View the methodology of the study.

The figures presented in this article are from an international study published by XEROX Institute Of Work. The method used to create the sample and the results of the study are available on this page.
It focuses in every sense on the relationship of the consumers towards general public electronic brands (computers, smartphones, tablets, smart watches, …).

This article aims to highlight some results that appear remarkable as for the customer relationship in this sector. As a reminder, the study does not relate only to French consumers.

Before the analysis, let’s define what is a traditional communication channel and a digital communication channel:

The “traditional” communication channel means:

  • human contact in store,
  • telephone customer service (call center).

The “digital” communication channel means:

  • email,
  • the website (FAQ, information available on the site),
  • Chat on the website,
  • a virtual assistant on website,
  • social networks (Facebook business page, Twitter account of the brand),
  • a smartphone application.

Communication channel preferred and used to contact brands


The preferred channel to contact brands remains traditional for 49.7% of respondents, while 46.8% give preference to the digital channels.

53.9% of American consumers prefer the traditional human contact (call center and employees in-store). We find an equivalent percentage for the French on a par with 53.3%, however the English consumers are 10 points below the French at 43.3%.

Therefore, the study tells us that 1 Consumer out of 2 is not able to contact customer service through its preferred communication channel: the hypothesis that access to the communication is too hard can make sense (time of store opening, failure of a call on a phone platform), which encourages consumers to use digital means of communications that are not yet mastered by them.

On the other hand, “the ease of contact” is the first selection criteria for a channel despite another. But with the proliferation of PurePlayers and Marketplaces (stores available only online, like Amazon or Cdiscount), the consumer does not always have the possibility of using traditional channels to contact the brands.

So having a powerful customer relationship involves offering consumers commercial relations both traditional and digital, in the manner of “bricks & mortar” (Fnac, Darty, Micromania, …) that offer an “in store” service, but also an internet service.

Preferences according to the type of interaction



The quality of customer service does not depend only on the disposition of a communication channel compared to another. It is about understanding the reasons why consumers contact you. If the purpose of the request is for a subscription, the dedicated online functionality will be preferred by a majority of consumers (23.5%).

While 37.7% of all respondents prefer to go to a shop for a registration or an appointment, 24.9% choose to go to the store for an installation, and the complex interactions such as complaints or information requests are in favour of telephone contact (call center) for 30% and 35.7% respectively.

After reading the study, one notices that consumers demand a variety of communication channels, the choices are more related to the types of interactions (purchase, sign, help, information, …) than the generation to which they belong.

Satisfaction – Loyalty – Recommendation and NPS


  • 47.5% of consumers have a high satisfaction of their brands.
  • 66.1% of consumers are not willing to switch brands in the next 12 months.

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) for consumer electronic brands is 17.1, which is favorable. The NPS is a measure of customer recommendation: it is calculated by the percentage difference between promoters (those who recommend to others a brand or a product) and detractors (those who denigrate a brand or product). The score is between -100 and +100. Apple enjoys a NPS of 39.32, 26.82 for Samsung and Sony 21.37. Nevertheless, there are significant differences between countries, hence the interest for companies to compare their NPS with the national average.

France USA United Kingdom Germany Netherlands
NPS 2.1 19.6 10.6 19.1 -5

Overall, if the NPS is greater than 0, then the number of recommendations is greater than that of denigrations. Word of mouth will therefore be positive for the brand.

The NPS is interesting because its purpose is to measure the intention of recommending a brand or product to friends. Unlike the satisfaction level which does not allow to anticipate the intention of recommending a brand on a Facebook wall or during lunch with colleagues …

Use of consumer data and customization


Only 1 in 5 consumers declares to be “comfortable” with the use of personal data in exchange for better customization of services. French consumers are the most concerned about the use of their data. 1 in 3 consumer avoids sharing data with brands, unlike the English consumer who are the most open to the idea.

Surprisingly, the generation Z (the youngest amongst us: 16-20 years) is less comfortable than Generation Y (21-30 years) about the use of their data. Only Generation Y accepts mostly to provide data for a more personal service. The generations after say they are mostly “preoccupied” by that use. Brands to segment their offers and their marketing communication, based on generational preferences!

Would consumers be willing to pay in exchange for greater transparency in the use of their data? For 1 in 4 consumers the response is positive.

Future expectations with respect to customizing of data


While custom and faster communication promises become marketing arguments, one consumer in two prefers customization stops at basic communication services, 15.3% expect even more customizations and 31.7% do not want any customization services.

And you, are you willing to offer more of your data to brands to make your life easier?!

Go to top of the article.

“In order to ensure a representative sample of the populations, we surveyed consumers in the United States (2000), the U.K (1000), France (1000), Germany (1000) and the Netherlands (1000).”

The gender split was 50/50 and the age breakdown was:


  • 7.9 % Generation Z (16-20)
  • 16.2% Millennial (21-30)
  • 33.5% Generation X (31-50)
  • 29.4% Baby Boomer (51-70)
  • 13.1% 71+



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