A majority of Australian consumers regard customer service as an important factor when it comes to where they shop, however recent findings indicate retail customer service is not living up to these standards.

The 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer from American Express shows 72 per cent of Australian consumers are more likely to have spent more for customer service. The reason for this is because they see value in excellent customer service.

At the same time, across all markets, over half of consumers indicate that they are willing to spend more with companies that they believe provide excellent service – significantly more consumers in India (87%), Mexico (82%) and Australia (71%) say they are willing to do so.

However, 36 per cent of Australian consumers think Australian companies are “paying less attention to customer service” in the current economy compared to other counties.

Similarly, 13 per cent of Australian consumers believe that businesses are generally not going the extra mile for customer service and “don’t care about their business”. This is in comparison to France that recorded a 21 per cent rating while Italy rated 12 per cent.

And these consumers are not afraid to tell others about their poor customer service experiences. Out of the 11 countries that were surveyed, consumers in Australia and Mexico (64 per cent and 68 per cent respectively) were more likely to do so than in any other country.