Aussies 'will pay a premium for good customer service'

Money might be tight for a lot of Aussies, but it seems we are still willing to pay a little extra in order to guarantee good customer service when buying goods.

Many households have been forced to rein in their credit card spending in recent years, as the weak global economy has scared people into saving more of their cash.

However, new research conducted by technology provider Avaya found that 42 per cent of the population would pay over the odds in order to purchase products and services from a company that has a good track record of looking after its customers.

This is quite a telling statistic, as a number of financial experts have previously suggested that Aussies are increasingly looking for bargains during these austere times.

Avaya's Tim Gentry believes that although Aussies are clearly willing to shell out more money for better services, people are doing more research before committing to a purchase.

He said that technological advancements have made this far easier and shoppers are better able to find the best deals on goods.

One-third of the respondents said they would use a smartphone app to make a customer service query in the next year, with 60 per cent of this number saying that this is a more convenient way to converse with a retailer.

Of course, social media usage has taken off in the past few years and the number of people who stated their intention to utilise websites like Facebook and Twitter when buying products has almost doubled in the last 12 months.

New figures released by the Westpac Bank and the Melbourne Institute have shown that Aussies are more likely to spend money this September than they were in 2011, so it is vitally important that retailers are constantly honing their customer service policies if they want to compete.

"While Australian consumers may be more weary of perceivably poor customer service, they're also willing to pay more for good service, and as our research shows, are savvy enough to look for other, better means of service," Mr Gentry remarked.

"Web-based service offerings, including live chat and smartphone apps linked to live agents, will become increasingly important tools in the battle to win long-term customer loyalty in Australia," he added.

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