Consumers entered 2015’s holiday season with lower customer service expectations. In its Consumer Experience Index, consumer engagement software provider Aspect Software report  that more than half of shoppers cited bad customer service as a source of frustration, and that 52 percent of them have stopped doing business with companies due to poor service.

Aspect’s survey found that 40 percent of consumers attributed their lower customer service expectations during the holidays to difficulties reaching customer service. Consumers also said that customer service agents are grumpy (18 percent) and nearly one in five indicated that they got bounced from agent to agent far too often. Aspect’s research found that more than 40 percent of consumers would opt to use text or messaging for customer service, but don’t because it’s either not available or lacks interaction quality.

“Too many brands force their customers to make traditional voice calls to customer service, and increasingly this is what consumers are trying to avoid,” says Joe Gagnon, SVP and chief customer transformation officer at Aspect Software. “Holding onto the idea that the customer service agent is the primary if not exclusive access point to customer service is out of date and in drastic need of reinvention. People want to engage brands in the same way they engage their friends and colleagues, which today means texting and messaging. Brands that continue to ignore consumers’ communication preferences do so at their own peril. And our data shows that the retail industry looks to be particularly at risk.”