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Monday, October 28, 2013

Extraordinary facts about customer service

By Sarah Hoove
Good customer service is the bread and butter for the majority of retail companies, but delivering it to the highest possible standards is no easy feat. Keeping customers happy is a challenging task, that requires constant attention and involves a lot of pressure. Here are a few simple stats and facts about customer service, and the importance of excellent customer interaction: some may even surprise you!
Business brand equity rises with strong customer service
Keeping customers costs less
  • Happy consumers who get their issues resolved quickly and efficiently tell approximately 4-6 people about their positive experience. This shows that businesses can’t afford to underestimate the power of speech, which is often the most effective (and free) marketing tool.
  • Unfortunately, this works the other way too: a third of consumers say they interact with rude sales representative at least once a month, and 58% of them tell their friends about it. This means that customers are twice as likely to tell a friend if they received bad service than if they received good service, with potentially detrimental effects to company image and reputation.
  • Somewhat depressingly, that one bad customer review can cause large ripples; Parature asserts that it takes 12 positive customer experiences to assuage the bad rep that comes with just one negative experience. 
  • It is around 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one. This makes customer retention through excellent service a key factor for any customer-facing business. 
  • 63% of customers indicate customer service as the leading reason why they stick to a brand, according to Parature.
  • On the other hand, 62% of US customers have moved on from brands they regularly used because of bad customer service. 26% of them  stated that the main cause of their move was being shuffled from representative to representative, without reaching any concrete resolution to their enquiries.
  • Cheap prices and quality products are essential, but good customer service can close a sale just as well as a discounted price tag. Defaqto Research shows that a whopping 55% of consumers is willing to pay more in return for a better customer experience.
    Raise revenue by training customer service reps to sell
    Revenue is linked to customer service
  • Although customers don’t like a hard sales tactic or constant attention, they definitely want (and need) a helping hand. According to eConsultancy, this is particularly true in the world of e-commerce, with approximately 83% of consumers requiring some degree of customer support when making online purchases.
  • Timing is key to effective customer interaction. In a recent survey, around 45% of consumers reported that they would abandon an online transaction if their questions or needs were not addressed as quickly or efficiently as they expected. Even if a company cannot resolve an issue, customer definitely love a trier: 33% of consumers would recommend a brand that provides a quick response - even if it is ineffective.
  • The right method of communication is just as important as the right timing. eConsultancy recently conducted a survey, and found that 61% of consumers prefer to receive assistance over the phone, a 60% favour correspondence with emails, and 57% prefer receiving help through a Live Chat.
  • Finally, brace yourself, as the fact you’re about to discover may shock you. Can you guess how much money U.S businesses lose because of shoddy customer service every year? According to Parature, estimate losses amount to around $83 billion
Although all these figures may suggest that it’s impossible to get anything right, focusing on providing excellent standards of service to every customer is worth the effort. Bain & Co report that a simple 10% increase in customer retention levels results in an overall 30% increase in the value of a company. Ultimately, from retaining existing customers to acquiring new ones, top quality service is imperative for each and every company’s success. The one thing you always needs to remember;  the customer is always right!
About the author: Sarah Hoove is a blogger and catlover from London
* Image licenses: 1. Photobucket 2. Photobucket