55%: As of March 31, 2014, we’ve calculated the current Quality of Customer Interaction (QCI™) Benchmark Score. We’ve been tracking this cumulative measure of customer service since 2011, and this quarter hasn’t seen much improvement (Q4/2013 was 54%).

Our QCI™ Benchmark is based on 137 unique companies who, at the time of scoring had NOT received our recommendations for customer experience improvement. To contextualize our benchmark, the recent American Customer Satisfaction Index (which measures total customer satisfaction) is approx. 76, and many top companies report Net Promoter Scores around 60%.

How can customer service improve? Our customer experience audits generally find that companies are particularly weak when it comes to branding and differentiating their interactions. That’s because companies leave the important job of interpreting their brand up to their frontline associates—and this leads to inconsistent results. In contrast, companies with the best customer service develop branded content for their associates, including examples and models that set that bar for truly great customer service.

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