Customers Are Still Willing to Pay for Great Customer Service

Customer service advocates rejoice!

Customer service – or rather the importance of – is a live and well.  … Well, to be honest, it never really dissappeared.  Techno-geeks might have lead some to believe that customer service could be relegated to automated mechanisms or outsourced to some far off land with incomprehensible accents, but these days,  that’s just not good enough.

The data shows, customer service isn’t just something important we talk about or a value to list in the mission statement: it can be the entire margin of profitability.

Take this recent Consumer Reports study that found that more than 60% of customers have walked out of a store in the last 12 months due to poor customer service. The latest issue of American Express’ Global Customer Service Barometer concurs. The firm’s research shows that 78% of customers have walked away from a transaction (higher than the Consumer Reports findings).

The numbers from the point of “lost sale” then become staggering:

  • 70% of customers say they’ll spend up to 13% more for a firm with good service (up from 9% last year)
  • 59% of consumers say they’d switch brands for a better customer experience
  • Most Americans tell twice as many people about lousy experiences as good.

… All which can cascade into a small public relations nightmare if you don’t take care of your customers.

The point of both studies demonstrate there’s never been a more crucial time to be diligent about good customer service.  An really, the data points that the solutions/expectations are quite simple:

  • Be there. Answer the phone, email or whatever communication mechanism you make available for your customers.
  • Make it simple. Whether it’s your return policy or something so routine as leaving a voice mail message – make the processes easy for your customer to navigate.
  • Build relationships. Customers – whether online or in line are tired of being “gathered,” “segmented” and “contated.” Get to know your customers. Create a community.
  • Increase politeness/decrease pushiness. Turns out mom was right: manners DO matter. Just as important is for sales people to tone down the tactics.

Customers don’t care if you make quota; you’ll make quota if you care about your customers. If you don’t, someone else will care for your customers.

Category: Customer Relationships, Customer service

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