What has the potential to ruin a person’s entire day, costs companies trillions in lost revenue, and lurks in the shadows and darkest corners of contact centers?
The spooky, scary ghost of poor customer service past.
Bad customer service haunts your contact center and looms over the shoulders of agents as they handle yet another angry customer. Its stench lingers in the atmosphere creating wide-spread fear of missed metrics and churning customers. And, the haunting doesn’t stop at day’s end. Experiences of poor customer service fester and spill over. They spread to online review sites and conversations with friends and family.
They even plague social media.
Only 1 in 25 unhappy customers will complain right to you. The alternative? Complaining to personal networks and putting your company on blast publicly, instead.In fact, Twitter has become a channel for all the ghosts of bad service past to come out and play. More than one million people sift through tweets about customer service on a weekly basis. And, 80 percent of those tweets are negative. Even worse, there are entire Twitter handles, hashtags, and Tweet-aggregating websites dedicated to surfacing customer complaints, like how long customers wait on hold.
At the same time expectations for better service rise, brand trust is diminishing in the eyes of consumers. Now more than ever, customers think companies deliver service that’s all tricks and no treats. And only 12% of customers believe companies who say they put customer needs before the needs of the business.
These days, customers run from bad service faster than I do in a haunted house when chased by a guy with a chainsaw in a Freddy Krueger mask. (Hint: lighting fast). Here are seven stats that prove poor customer service doesn’t sell, and what all of it means for your business.
1. Companies in the U.S. lose $1.6 trillion because of customers jumping to competitors due to poor customer service. (Accenture)
With that amount of money, you could pocket 93 percent of all the cash circulating the U.S. Or, you could buy everyone in Chicago their own starter home, with money in your pocket left over to put a new Lamborghini in each person’s garage. Bad customer service steals company revenue and sends customers into the arms of competitors.
2. More than four-fifths, 82 percent, of customers have cut ties with a company because of their bad customer experience. (Zendesk)
Negative service experiences pile up and create a lasting impact on your overall customer experience. The large majority of customers will leave your company if your experience is subpar, even if your product or service offerings outpace everyone else.
3. A whopping 96% of customers are disloyal after a high-effort service experience. (Challenger)
Making your customers repeat information or end conversations just to switch channels brews a bubbling cauldron of customer disloyalty. (With a side of toil and trouble). The more effort your customers have to give to a problem that shouldn’t have happened in the first place, the more they’ll seek out competitive alternatives.
Lauren Freedman, President of the E-tailing Group
“Although your customers won’t love you if you give bad service, your competitors will.”
4. Nearly all consumers globally, 96%, say customer service is important to their loyalty to a brand. (Microsoft)
When you don’t prioritize knowledgeable and friendly help for your customers with every interaction, customers notice. And they leave.
5. One-third of customers who abandoned a relationship with a company last year left because their experience wasn’t personalized enough. (Accenture)
Customers expect you to know who they are, how they like to communicate, when they’ve reached out before, and how to help them. If your agents are stuck without customer data and omnichannel tools to serve up personalized service, your CX is at risk.
6. More than two-thirds, 67% of customers mention bad experiences as a reason for churn. (Salesforce)
Did you know it takes 12 positive experiences to undo the bad taste left in your customer’s mouth after one negative experience? Customers hang on to the bad more than the good. And just one instance of poor service from your contact center team can permanently change a person’s perception of your brand.
7. More than half of Americans have scrapped a planned purchase because of poor service. (American Express, 2017 Customer Barometer Survey)
Not only does poor customer service impact customer retention and loyalty, but it tanks the potential for more revenue, too. The conversations people have with your agents, the personalities that live behind your brand, carry far more weight at differentiating your company than a bundle of new features.
Keep the customer service spookies away and you’ll build lasting customer loyalty. Oh, and happy Halloween. Want to know exactly how much value loyal customers bring to your business? Jump to our article giving you the cost analysis of customer retention vs. acquisition.