While many organizations say they believe in providing better customer service, in fact recent Forrester research confirms that 95% of leaders consider good customer service to be a priority, a different Forrester report shows that only 31% of organizations closely monitor the quality of interactions with their target customers! If you aren’t actively watching your customer service representation how do you really know what your customers think of you? Saying customer service matters is fine and dandy, but do you really know what you’re missing out on if your organization doesn’t follow through?
1. Good customer service means more profits.
It’s business 101– it costs more to acquire a new customer than keep an old customer. A company could spend anywhere from $7 to $175 on marketing and advertising just to acquire a single new customer, whereas keeping an existing customer happy costs 6-7 times less. In fact, a 10% increase in customer retention levels results in a 30% increase in the value of the company! By keeping your customers happy you keep them coming back time and time again (and they are often more forgiving when things go awry), which in turn helps support your company while you are chasing new customers down.
2. Dissatisfaction spreads…and costs you more than a good reputation.
It’s a frustrating fact that every company, but especially B2C brands,struggle with; misery loves company. How many of your customers have ended a phone call or email chain with glowing recommendations for your customer service team. “You guys were great! So helpful. Thank you for taking care of this for me.” and so forth. Yet how often do those glowing reviews make it into a public forum like social media or a customer review board? Chances are the people you hear from the most are the ones you didn’t help. And that one bad experience is going to reach a lot farther than 10 great ones. According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, a dissatisfied customer will tell between 9-15 people about their experience. What started as one lowly frustrated or dissatisfied customer can turn into a barrage of complaints and attacks that come out of nowhere. Contrarily, happy customers who get their issue resolved will only tell about 4-6 people about their experience. And it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience.
Another nerve wracking statistic? For every customer complaint there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent. And even though those customers don’t vent their frustrations they still hurt. According to 1Financial Training, 96% of unhappy customers don’t complain; 91% of those will simply leave and never come back.
3. Customer service matters more than price.
A lot of companies play the bidding war with their competitors. Who can shave off the most dollars and cents? Who can offer the most incentives to attract new customers? But while those deals might get a lot of initial attention, 63% of consumers point to service as the most important factor in their choice of a brand. In fact, 62% have actually switched brands in the past year due to poor customer service. And since the majority of customers still use the phone to handle service or sales issues, (although web, email, social media, and other channels are making a mark) your agents need to be well-trained and well-prepared for whatever comes their way. In fact, 70% of customers say they are likely to switch brands if they deal with agents who are unable to answer their questions!