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78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience.Source: American Express Survey, 2011
A typical business hears from 4% of it's dissatisfied customers.Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner
On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs
Probability of selling to a new prospect
Probability of selling to an existing customer
It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner
News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many ears as praise for a good service experience.
Take the time to address unhappy customers and do everything in your power to remedy the situation. It's not only worth keeping their business, but also avoiding any negative word of mouth exposure.
It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs
For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent.
Customer feedback is gold! Come up with internal processes to track complaints and go about fixing them. Also, do everything in your power to make it really easy for customers to give feedback and tell you about problems they are having. It takes time to sift through feedback, but the value added to your business is worth it!
3 in 5 Americans (59%) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.Source: American Express Survey, 2011
In 2011, 7 in 10 Americans said they were willing to spend more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service.Source: American Express Survey, 2011
When customers share their story, they’re not just sharing pain points. They’re actually teaching you how to make your product, service, and business better. Your customer service organization should be designed to efficiently communicate those issues.” - Kristin Smaby, “Being Human is Good Business”
According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time.Source: Harris Interactive
80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses.
Small companies can differentiate themselves from large competition and win over new customers with great service.
In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration they could not talk to a real person.
Eliminate unnecessary barriers between you and your customers.
What goes into a happy customer experience?Source: “The Cost of Poor Customer Service” by Genesys Global Survey, 2009
75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent.
If you offer some sort of live service (phone or live chat), it’s paramount that you get customers to a live person in 2 minutes or less. Otherwise it creates frustration that can lead to a seriously unhappy customer.
Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.”- Kate Zabriskie
70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.Source: McKinsey
80% of companies
say they deliver "superior" customer service
8% of people
think these same companies deliver "superior" customer service
Decide what metrics are critical to measuring customer satisfaction. Don’t just go with your gut; prove that you provide great service with data. Also, don’t hesitate to survey customers for feedback and measure success that way.
91% of unhappy customers will not willingly do business with you again.Source: Lee Resources
Resolve a complain in the customer's favor and they will do business with you again 70% of the time.Source: Lee Resources
Stellar service should be non-negotiable and merchants shouldn't hide behind self-service tools and technology when it comes to knowing their products and taking care of their customers.”- Lauren Freedman, President of the E-Tailing Group
Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience
Competing on price isn’t the most effective way to build an enduring business. Great service, delivered time and time again, is defensible against the stiffest and most well-funded competition.
People want this level of engagement from the companies with which they do business ... even the best of what formerly passed for good customer service is no longer enough.
You have to be no less than a customer concierge, doing everything you can to make every one of your customers feel acknowledged, appreciated, and heard. You have to make them feel special, just like when your great-grandmother walked into Butcher Bob’s shop or bought her new hat, and you need to make people who aren’t your customers wish they were. Social media gives businesses the tools to do that for the first time in a scalable way.”- Gary Vaynerchuk, “The Thank You Economy”
By far, the most requested improvement from customers was "Better Human Service"Source: “The Cost of Poor Customer Service” by Genesys Global Survey, 2009
In 2011, 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experienceSource: Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, 2010
While automation can be expedient, the resulting impersonal tone and risk of poor information are formidable ... most importantly, merchants are missing an opportune moment to connect with current and prospective customers.”Source: Annual Mystery Shopping Study by the E-tailing Group, 2010
The most cringe-worthy phrases
customers don't want to hear:
“We’re unable to answer your question. Please call xxx-xxx-xxxx to speak to a representative from xxx team.”
“We're sorry, but we're experiencing unusually heavy call volumes. You can hold or try back at another time.”
“Your call is important to us. Please continute to hold.”Source: American Express Survey, 2011
If anybody ever called our number, it would be picked up in less than 2 rings with a friendly voice answering, ‘CD Baby.’ From 7 am to 10 pm, there was always somebody to pick up a call in 2 rings. No voice mail system; no routing to different departments. We treated our customers like our best friends. You don’t route your best friend’s call to an automated system!”- Derek Sivers, CD Baby
Employees only ask for the customer’s name 21% of the time.
The person has a name 100% of the time, and they like hearing it.
In an era when companies see online support as a way to shield themselves from ‘costly’ interactions with their customers, it’s time to consider an entirely different approach: building human- centric customer service through great people and clever technology. So, get to know your customers. Humanize them. Humanize yourself. It’s worth it.”Kristin Smaby, “Being Human is Good Business”
Top two reasons for customer loss:
1. Customers feel poorly treated
2. Failure to solve a problem in a timely mannerSource: Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, 2010
Ask your customers to be part of the solution, And don’t view them as part of the problem.”- Alan Weiss
70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated
Engaging with your customers on Twitter is a great investment. Follow and promote them to your own followers when you have the opportunity. Most importantly, be there to listen if something goes wrong.
The rise of the citizen review site is a sobering development. No longer are you on top of the mountain, blasting your marketing message down to the masses through your megaphone. All of a sudden, the masses are conversing with one another. If your service or product isn’t any good, they’ll out you.” - David Pogue, Scientific American, 2011
58% of Americans perform online research about the products and services that they are considering purchasing.Source: Jim Jansen, Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, 2010
Knowing what's being said about your company online allows you to see where you're succeeding and where you need improvement.
Unfiltered feedback from customers is a positive even when it’s negative. A bad or so-so online review can actually help you because it gives customers certainty that the opinion is unbiased.
Friends and colleagues’ endorsements, discussed in real life or through Twitter and Facebook updates, are more likely to drive sales than even a positive user review posted on a site like Yelp or Amazon (but those matter, too).” - Jason Mittelstaedt, CMO at RightNow
Americans tell an average of 9 people about good experiences, and tell 16 (nearly two times more) people about poor experiences.Source: American Express Survey, 2011
24% of American adults have posted comments or reviews online about the product or services they buy.Source: 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.
Monitor your brand’s mentions on social media channels so you can respond to customer complaints before they escalate. It’s an opportunity to wow them!
Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.” - Lauren Freedman, President of the E-tailing Group
42% of online shoppers said they had contacted a retailer about an online purchase in the last 6 months.
A high percentage of buyers on your website will have a question before completing their purchase. The speed, personal touch and accuracy with which you are able to provide an answer will make all the difference in whether they buy and keep buying from you.
People now expect the same—if not better— level of service from online storefronts and service channels as they do from a visit to a retail store or a phone conversation with an agent.”Source: “Email Customer service in North American small and medium Businesses” by BenchmarkPortal, 2005
94% of all online retailers provide email customer service.
27% of email inquires are answered incorrectly.
Knowledge of the product is more important than speed when emailing a customer, so do everything in your power to get it right the first time, every time.
In a 2010 E-tailing Group survey, only 10 of 100 online merchants made the cut for stellar customer service.Source: Annual Mystery Shopping Study by The E-Tailing Group, 2010
A man without a smiling face
must not open a shop.”- Chinese Proverb
Customer experience quality could result in a swing of $184 million for a large Internet retailerSource: Forrester Research Inc., 2008
The top 10 average email reply times of the largest 100 Internet retailers in the US
The quality of your email response matters just as much-if not more-than timelinessSource: “Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses” by BenchmarkPortal, 2005
BenchmarkPortal analysts, pretending to be prospective buyers, sent emails asking for information about high-value products and services through webforms or email addresses provided on the company websites.
83% of small and medium-sized businesses responded with inaccurate or incomplete answers.Source: “Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses” by BenchmarkPortal, 2005
41% of consumers expect an e-mail response within six hours. Only 36% of retailers responded that quickly.Source: Forrester Research Inc., 2008
24 hours or less is widely considered an acceptable email response time.
Respond within an hour for a WOW factor with the customer.
The handful of companies that respond promptly and accurately to customer emails increase trust in their brand, bolster customer satisfaction, and boost sales both online and offline.”- BenchmarkPortal
The Top 10 Companies
Rated as Giving Excellent Service in 2011
The Bottom 10 Companies
Rated as Giving Poor Service in 2011
Smart businesses should come to realize that the customer service bar is lower— and that today, it’s easier than ever to differentiate your company from the pack with (crazy as it seems) actual quality customer service.” - Brad Tuttle, “A Few thoughts on the God-Awful state of Customer Service,” Time, 2010
Temkin Respondents’ Top 5 Companies
for an excellent customer experience
Temkin Respondents’ Top Companies
for each rating category
81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition.Source: Peppers & Rogers Group, Customer Experience Maturity Monitor, 2009
Whatever you are, be a good one.”- Abraham Lincoln
According to the Temkin Survey, customers believe...
deliver the best experience
TV Service Providers & Health Plans
deliver the worst
Customer service shouldn’t just be A department, it should be the entire company.”- Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos
The single most important thing is to make people happy. If you are making people happy, as a side effect, they will be happy to open up their wallets and pay you.” - Derek Sivers, CD Baby
It’s very logical: There is proven ROI in doing whatever you can to turn your customers into advocates for your brand or business. The way to create advocates is to offer superior customer service.” - Gary Vaynerchuk, “The Thank You Economy”
Always do more than is required of you.” - George S. Patton
There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but our data demonstrates that superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth. Investing in quality talent, and ensuring they have the skills, training and tools that enable them to empathize and actively listen to custom- ers are central to providing consistently excellent service experiences.” - Jim Bush, Executive VP at American Express
Customer service is the new marketing.” - Derek Sivers, CD Baby