What is the True Value of Customer Service?
Have you ever waited on hold to speak to a representative, for what felt like an eternity, only to be transferred to someone else? Have you ever walked into a store and be shunned by the sales staff, or even worse, be approached too aggressively?
If so, then you probably know first-hand the value of good customer service. For a business to be successful, providing excellent customer service should be at the top of the list of priorities.
Just how important is customer service? Can it really make or break a company? We dug up some interesting statistics from a variety of sources that illustrate just how valuable it is.
82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of bad customer service.
Let’s face it. Unless you provide a product or service that is so unique that you can’t find it anywhere else on the planet, then you better enlist the manpower and resources to keep your customers happy or you risk losing them to your competitors. The bottom line: Offer poor service, lose valuable customers.
72% blame their bad customer service experience on having to explain their problem to multiple people.
Having to repeat yourself is frustrating and a waste of time. When customers experience this, the perception is that they are not valued. Many businesses have addressed this problem by assigning a dedicated support person to each customer.
Having a single point of contact for each customer has its benefits: 1) When customers know who to call and know that person’s name, it humanizes your brand and builds trust in your company, and 2) It’s practical!
59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer experiences online.
Treat your customers poorly and they’re likely to retaliate with a bad review. With the myriad of review sites out there, expressing an opinion is easier than it’s ever been. Sites like Amazon, Angie’s List, Yelp, Google My Business, Four Square, and Yahoo! Local Listings are just a few.
Keep in mind: Bad experiences are more likely to inspire reviews than positive ones. Make sure every encounter with your business is a favorable one.
After a positive customer experience, 69% of Americans would recommend that company to others.
Word-of-mouth can go a long way in promoting your brand. It’s the oldest and least expensive method of advertising. And it’s also the most effective. Word-of-mouth recommendations (often referred to as “earned advertising”) are more highly valued than any marketing message you can craft. Treat your customers well, your marketing budget will thank you.
71% of consumers want the ability to solve product/service issues on their own; one-third said they’d rather clean a toilet than speak with customer service.
Customer service reps get a bad rap. Educate your employees on customer service best practices and before long your customers will compare your service to a day out in the park. A few tips:
- Get off to a good start – You want your customers feel at ease, treat them well from the start. First impressions are the most important.
- Be proactive (and informative!) – Unfortunately by the time someone reaches out to customer service, it’s usually with a complaint. Win them over by anticipating their needs and reaching out to them to check in. Position yourself as a trusted resource.
- Offer a seamless experience – Provide a consistent experience through every single channel, whether it’s in store, online, or social media.
60% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service now than they did just one year ago.
As technology enables more ease in performing business transactions, consumers will have higher expectations when it comes to customer service. In recent years, consumers have placed greater importance on the quality of customer service than on the price and quality alone.
What’s the best way to differentiate yourself from your competitors, especially if your product or service is something that your customers can get elsewhere? By providing superior customer service, of course.
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