The Customer Service Top 40: Eighties Edition

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Pete Humes Head of Content

Nobody gets nostalgic for the good old days of customer service.

Forty years ago, consumers seeking solutions to their problems faced a slow and sometimes painful process.

It was normal to wait on hold for a customer service representative to answer your call, only to be met with a robotic script and unhelpful answers. Visiting in person was never fun because folks in the Complaints Departments were always cranky.

And if things got really serious, your best (and only) option was a strongly worded letter. Words typed on paper. Sealed in an envelope. Delivered by a mail truck in 3-7 business days.

Those days are gone.

Thanks to new technology and changing expectations, the rules have changed.

Customer service has undergone a complete transformation. Customers want solutions NOW. They want problems to disappear at the push of a button. They want to connect with your company whenever, wherever and however they choose.

We’ve combed the internet to collect some hard facts and numbers about the current state and immediate future of customer service.

And while we might not be nostalgic for the slow, ineffective old ways of customer service, everybody has a soft spot for eighties music. That’s why we’ve infused this list with 40 classic tunes from the most rad decade for pop music ever.

Since some of these revelations might be hard to swallow, we thought a spoonful of sugar (and maybe some Blondie) would help the medicine go down.

1. “Faithfully” - Journey

96% of consumers say customer service is an important factor in their choice of loyalty to a brand. (Source: Microsoft)

2. “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)” - Daryl Hall & John Oates

After more than one bad experience, around 80% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor. (Source: Zendesk)

3. “Never Gonna Give You Up” - Rick Astley

More than one in three consumers (38%) state they will buy from a brand they’ve had a good experience with again, even if there are better options. (Source: Segment)

4. “If You Leave” - Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark

78% of customers have backed out of a purchase due to a poor customer experience. (Source: Glance)

5. “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” - Great White

42% of Americans will stop shopping with a brand after only two bad experiences. (Source: Vision Critical)

6. “The Heat is On” - Glen Frey

Customer expectations for ease increased from 11% in 2013 to 90% in 2020. (Source: Walker)

7. “I Can't Wait” by Nu Shooz

33% of customers said they’re not willing to wait on hold at all. (Source: Plum Voice)

8. “Keep on Loving You” - REO Speedwagon

93% of customers said they are likely to make repeat purchases from companies with excellent customer service. (Source: HubSpot)

9. “Mony Mony” - Billy Idol

Customers who had the best experiences spent 140% more than those who had the poorest experiences. (Source: Deloitte)

10. “Control” - Janet Jackson

67% of customers prefer self-service. (Source: Techjury)

11. “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” - Bobby McFerrin

54% of customers who report positive emotions like feeling happy, valued, and appreciated are willing to forgive brands that make mistakes. (Source: Forrester)

12. “Something About You” - Level 42

91% of consumers said they are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, remember, and provide relevant offers and recommendations. (Source: Accenture)

13. “Mr Roboto” - Styx

Conversational AI will reduce contact center agent labor costs by $80 billion in 2026. (Source: Gartner)

14. “She Works Hard for the Money” - Donna Summer

86% of consumers would pay up to 25% more for a better customer experience. (Source: PwC)

15. “Big Time” - Peter Gabriel

Companies that excel at customer experience grow revenue 5.1 times faster than those that don’t. (Source: Forrester)

16. “Another One Bites the Dust” - Queen

60% of customers say they would stop doing business with a company that provided poor customer service. (Source: Salesforce)

17. “Wrapped Around Your Finger” - The Police

65% of customers said that a positive experience with a brand is more influential than great advertising. (Source: PwC)

18. “Tell Her About It” - Billy Joel

The average American tells 15 people when they’ve had a poor customer service experience. (Source: American Express)

19. “Human” - The Human League

83% of consumers say that they prefer dealing with a human over a digital channel when dealing with customer service. (Source: Accenture)

20. “Urgent” - Foreigner

42% of customers who contact customer service via social media expect a response within 60 minutes. (Source: The Social Habit).

21. “Don’t You (Forget About Me) - Simple Minds

75% of consumers said they are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history. (Source: Accenture)

22. “Hard Habit to Break” - Chicago

83% of customers agree that they feel more loyal to brands that respond and resolve their complaints. (Source: Khoros)

23. “Don’t Do Me Like That” - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

In the United States, $62 billion is lost every year due to poor customer service. (Source: NewVoiceMedia)

24. “We Are the World” - USA for Africa

63% of consumers say they are more attracted to brands focusing on making the world a better place. (Source: Edelman)

25. “Better Be Good to Me” - Tina Turner

Feeling unappreciated by a company is the #1 reason customers switch brands. (Source: New Voice Media)

26. “It’s a Mistake” - Men at Work

27% of Americans report “lack of effectiveness” as their top frustration with customer service reps. (Source: Statista)

27. “Talk to Me” - Stevie Nicks

86% of consumers expect seamless communication across multiple channels with customer support agents. (Source: Gladly)

28. “Would I Lie to You?” - Eurythmics

80% of customers want brands to be more honest. (Source: Freshworks)

29. “All Night Long (All Night)” - Lionel Richie

90% of customers say that they're more likely to do business with a company that offers 24/7 customer support. (Source: Forrester)

30. “Under Pressure” - Queen & David Bowie

87% of contact center agents report high or very high stress levels at their call centers. (Source: Cornell)

31. “What You Need” - INXS

68% of contact center and CX leaders say their current technology solutions are not effective or are only somewhat effective in supporting digital transformation and the future of work. (Source: 8×8)

32. “Things Can Only Get Better” - Howard Jones

59% of customer service and support leaders plan to devote more resources to improving, automating or eliminating inefficient processes in the near future. (Source: Gartner)

33. “Giving You the Best That I Got" - Anita Baker

74% of agents say that having access to more tools and data will give them more opportunities to personalize interactions. (Source: Zendesk)

34. “Call Me” - Blondie

65% of potential customers want to reach brands by phone. (Source: Invoca)

35. “Straight from the Heart” - Bryan Adams

78% of consumers said they prefer when agents don’t sound like they’re reading from a script. (Source: Software Advice)

36. “Don’t Lose My Number” - Phil Collins

80% of customers said they want quicker responses from companies. (Source: Freshworks)

37. “Brass in Pocket (I’m Special)” - The Pretenders

80% of consumers say companies earn their trust and money when they offer personalized experiences (Source: Genesys)

38. “Everything She Wants" - Wham!

The number of companies investing in the omni-channel experience has jumped from 20% to more than 80%. (Source: PWC)

39. “If You Don't Know Me By Now" - Simply Red

70% of customers expect anyone they interact with to have full context. (Source: Zendesk)

40. Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)” - Pet Shop Boys

Customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t focus on customers. (Source: SuperOffice)

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