A recent debacle involving a Comcast rep has thrust customer service into the spotlight recently. The botched retention call feels like the CSR had a checklist of everything not to do and made sure to do them all. The embarrassment to Comcast was the least of their problems when the call went viral. Besides losing face and possibly potential customers, the situation has increased calls for more service provider options like Google Fiber. This story is a good example of why customer service matters, a topic which has been discussed on this site before. But there’s no need for business owners to simply trust this anecdotal evidence. Here are eight stats from the past year that prove customer service is more important than many think.
One of the key benefits of using social media to handle customer service issues is the speed. According to a 2014 study by LivePerson, customers consider getting issues resolved quickly to be the most important factor in determining great customer service (listed by 82% of survey respondents). It was ranked significantly higher than single use interaction and friendly agent interaction. If a company can deliver speedy customer service on social media, there customers will be very pleased.
The LivePerson study also reported that 83 percent of customers said they need some form of support when using ecommerce sites. Also, when purchasing online, 71 percent of visitors expect help within five minutes.
Proper customer service has a huge impact on getting consumers all the way through the sales funnel. LivePerson noted three reasons why carts might be abandoned due to poor customer service: 48 percent of consumers will abandon their cart if they don’t get help in the time frame they want; 37 percent will abandon their cart if they can’t find an answer to a question; and 30 percent will abandon their cart if they have difficulty finding help online.
According to a study done by Forrester Research and Conversocial, the number of customers using Twitter for customer service doubled between 2009 and 2012, to 22 percent.
Making the effort to provide great customer service to keep consumers from defecting can have a huge impact on long-term profits. In the book, Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet and Mark Murphy stated that reducing the customer defection rate by 5 percent can increase the profitability of a business by 25 to 125 percent. Similarly, the book noted that a 2 percent increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10 percent.
According to the Customers 2020 Report by Walker, by 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
A study from Accenture found that 62 percent of global consumers switched service providers due to poor customer service experiences in 2013. This is an increase of 4 percent from the previous year. Providing excellent customer service on all channels is essential if business owners don’t want their customers to part of the defectors.
It’s hard to meet the high bar that customers expect for customer service but it’s certainly worth it. According to a Customer Experience Impact Study by Oracle, only 1 percent of consumers feel that businesses are up to snuff. However, 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience.
No matter what advances there are for retailers, the importance of good customer service will never diminish. There are a lot of ways that business owners can use their internet marketing channels for customer service and it’s important that they do so. As these statistics show, good customer service only becomes more important as the global markets give consumers many other options to choose from when their customer service expectations aren’t being met.