When it comes to customer service, word of mouth from satisfied clients has a more lasting impact than any costly advertising campaign. A referral coming from a delighted customer will have a ripple effect; it creates the kind of loyalty that will turn rabid fans into highly effective brand ambassadors.
Excellent customer service is the foundation on which solid reputations are made; however going to the opposite end of the spectrum can break that image. Consistently delivering poor customer service can just as easily chip away at all the hard work you’ve done to the gain trust and confidence you’ve built for your brand.
Familiarize yourselves with the basics of customer service. Countless research and evidence-based studies have been conducted over the years specifically on the subject. Get to know these metrics and keep them in mind the next time you implement any new initiatives for your front line staff.
- Consumers tell twice as many people about poor experiences than positive ones. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
- Seventy-eight percent (78%) of consumers have abandoned a transaction because of poor service. (American Express)
- Ninety-one (91%) of dissatisfied customers will not willingly do business with you again. (Lee Resources)
- Resolve a complaint in the customer’s favor and they will do business with you again 70% of the time. (Lee Resources)
- Forty-five (45%) percent of people share negative customer experiences on social media, with 35% of people likely to post negative online reviews after a poor experience. (Dimensional Research)
- Eighty-one (81%) of consumers who switched loyalties say the company could have done something differently to keep them as customers. (Accenture)
- Phone calls are still the primary channel for customer communications: Social media channels handle just 3% of all customer communications, compared to 68% who contact customer service by phone. (New Voice Media)
- 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. (American Express survey)
- A typical business hears from 4% of its dissatisfied customers, with 96% not voicing out their complaints, and 91% never coming back. (“Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner)
- On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
- It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. (“Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner)
- It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
- According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time. (Harris Interactive)
- 78% of customer claim that a happy customer experience means interacting with competent customer service reps. (The Cost of Poor Customer Service” by Genesys Global Survey, 2009)
- Eighty-six percent (86%) of people won’t purchase from a business that has negative online reviews. (Dimensional Research)
- 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated. (McKinsey)
- In 2011, 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience, a marked increase of dissatisfied customers compared to 59% in 2007. (Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, 2010)
- Employees only ask for the customer’s name 21% of the time, despite the fact that everyone loves hearing the sound of their own names. (ContactPoint Client Research)
- 58% of Americans perform online research about the products and services that they are considering purchasing. (Jim Jansen, Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 2010)
- Over 1 million people view tweets about customer service every week. Roughly 80% of those tweets are negative or critical in nature. (Touch Agency)
Based on these facts and figures, it appears that the barometer for what defines excellent customer service is getting higher as the years progress. Just look at no. 17, which is perhaps an indication of more impatient customers who have higher expectations.
The introduction of social media and various social platforms through which clients could potentially reach you has also contributed to a 24/7/365 customer service line. But some things remain the same: most clients still consider the phone as the primary source of communication (no. 7), and buying experiences remain a personal act (no. 16).
One fact remains certain throughout: you cannot afford to scrimp on providing excellent service, regardless of the season, and in spite of the changing customer service landscape, delighting clients is an important factor for success.
Nowadays, the traditional landline phone customer service that businesses have may not serve your customers well—considering that we’re living in the technology era. Having customer support in other types of network such as through online and mobile are some of the customer assistance services we have, which can take your entire customer service to a whole new level. Learn more!