Why do most people go back to the same pizza place over and over?
In 95% of the cases, the answer is customer service. And that’s just one of the astounding customer service statistics of the previous decade!
By resolving client queries quickly and efficiently, you set yourself apart from competitors, improve overall positive customer experience, and set the base for a solid relationship with your clients. Or, to put it simply:
Better customer service = gain
Naturally, that includes monetary gain!
Like it or not, the ‘client is always right’ principle is here to stay. We gathered the most astounding, stop-dead-in-your-tracks customer service facts to prove that.
To pull out all the stops, we have also prepared something extra! Read on until the end for 10 evidence-based steps to improve customer service impact and increase revenue.
Hopefully, we will shock you into improving:
As Earl Nightingale famously said:
“Our attitude towards others determines their attitude towards us.”
Whether you’re selling toothpaste, B2B solutions, or running shoes, your customers are buying more than the product. They are also paying for your attention, care, and the overall experience of purchasing from you.
How important can that be? Well, nothing short of crucial!
An overwhelming 95% of global customers consider customer service to be essential in their choice of and loyalty to a company.
Now, more than ever, clients are happy to take their business elsewhere, even after a single negative experience. With expectations rising by the minute, businesses often struggle to set themselves apart from their competitors. Unfortunately (for those who fail), it has been estimated that 89% of companies compete on customer service alone!
The stakes are high but the potential rewards are enormous. 86% of people are happy to pay more if it means the business provides reliable, efficient, and empathetic client care. Besides, things are improving overall – 66% of consumers feel the quality of customer service is getting better.
Of course, this means your competitors are also improving, so it’s time to take action and stand out from the crowd!
Customers Prefer Brands That Understand
While modern consumers bring high expectations to the table, they also reward the companies that can meet them. Every interaction is an opportunity to turn clients into true brand ambassadors. Happy people don’t ditch their favorite product – in fact, they also bring their friends to the party!
(Source: Dimensional Research)
Trust is a solid base for a healthy relationship with your customers. With expectations constantly rising (in 2017, 53% of consumers in emerging markets expected better customer service), satisfaction is never guaranteed. According to statistics, at least.
But if you do achieve it, does it turn into more sales? It definitely turns one-time clients into long-term brand champions:
However, if you fail to meet their expectations, they are ready to take their business elsewhere. Switching to a competitor has lead to $756 billion of lost revenue in the US alone!
Resolving issues quickly and (ideally) within a single interaction can help you retain customers and becomes a major competitive advantage. Because:
Young consumers (18-34-year-olds) are the most likely to switch. 64% of them abandoned a company in 2017 and that number is projected to grow.
High-income households are another group of active switchers. A Dimensional Research study found that 79% of them will avoid a provider for 2+ years after a bad customer service experience!
The main takeaways of these customer service facts are clear:
But it might be getting harder to please customers…
Globally, 59% of people say they look for higher quality in customer care than they did a year ago. That number is even higher for the USA (56%) and for younger consumers (70% of 18-34-year-olds). It’s natural to assume that customer service will be getting more and more important as we go into the new decade.
In 2020, improving customer experience will pay off big time!
Consumer behavior directly changes in response to customer service. This, of course, can go both ways. You can win big by meeting client expectations, or lose big (and not just monetarily) if you fail.
(Source: Dimensional Research)
Great client support yields long-lasting results, too. 24% of consumers keep doing business with vendors for two or more years after a positive encounter. On the other hand, a staggering 39% continue to avoid them after a negative experience. And you best believe they will also tell their friends about it!
This is especially crucial in ecommerce, where 88% of buyers have been influenced by an online customer service review.
Speaking of reviews, your happy (or unhappy) customers will spread the word about client care in your company:
(Source: Dimensional Research)
And the effect of a negative impression of your customer service team? Bigger than expected:
Young people (the 18-34 age group) are even more impressed when you take their thoughts into account. 77% of them praise brands that are responsive on social media and many follow their favorite brands there.
They are also more trusting when it comes to their voice actually being heard. 55% of them believe most brands take feedback into consideration, as opposed to 49% of the general respondents.
Dimensional Research dug deeper into the sharing of negative experiences. Say a client had an unpleasant encounter with customer service. Their trust in your company is undermined, they are less likely to buy from you, or stay loyal (as opposed to going to your competitors).
However, a negative customer service experience impacts more than just a single client. According to customer service statistics from 2019, people are more than eager to share their thoughts:
These general numbers become even more worrying when we look at big spenders. Among those making over $150,000 a year, an impressive 100% had shared their bad customer experience with others!
Lessons learned! For 2020, keep in mind that:
Now let’s talk about proactively improving your client care!
First, the key customer service expectation facts:
Customer service agents are the face of your company… yet they’re often underqualified, underpaid, and underappreciated.
It’s not a revolutionary discovery that to provide high-quality customer service you need high-value employees doing it. Luckily, keeping your client care champions is largely within your reach. Here are the main reasons for the high turnover (so you can tackle them ASAP):
Plus, if we’re speaking numbers, the Human Resource Institute estimates that turnover costs about $10-$15k for a frontline employee! With call center statistics like these, it’s hard to see why companies are doing so little to reduce their agent’s turnover rate.
Then again, the journey toward improvement doesn’t stop there. Train your agents to meet customer expectations such as:
Today’s customer expects to receive support anytime, anywhere.
You can’t call an agent if it’s 3 AM, you’re in traffic, or if you only have 5 minutes to spare.
Think about your own experiences as a client. People naturally try to solve the problem by themselves.
Unconvinced? According to results, 66% of respondents of customer service questionnaires used self-service before talking to an agent. 88% expect a dedicated online self-service portal!
With two-thirds of consumers first trying to solve a problem on their own, providing an understandable and thorough knowledge base is the first step. It’s also the first thing clients encounter when they troubleshoot their issues.
Here is how you make self-service better (based on what people usually complain about):
Make customer service effortless across channels by leveraging technology!
7. An overwhelming 85% of respondents in customer service studies found video chat helpful. 91% loved co-browsing.
(Source: Accenture Strategies)
Artificial intelligence (AI) solutions are also gaining traction:
That said, over 40% of consumers cite reasons to distrust AI. The distrust is highest when it comes to their children, safety, and financial affairs.
Should this discourage you from employing AI support?
No, but you should definitely consider these concerns when you’re developing AI solutions. Remember, single-contact resolution and a knowledgeable agent are the two most important things for consumers. If your AI support can help with that, why doubt it?
With mounting customer expectations, companies are finding it harder to keep up. But if there is one thing you can learn here, it’s this:
Awesome customer service sets you apart. And that’s statistics talking.
No matter what your business is, make the future brighter by investing in client care in 2020!