There is plenty of great research on why customer service should be a differentiating strategy for organizations. Given that my business is helping companies improve their customer service experience, I love the statistics. Customers for years have been telling us how they want real customer service that stands out.
Here are some recent numbers and my thoughts –
1. American Express found that in the US, customers will spend 9% more with companies that provide great customer service.
Think how 9% could change your long term bottom line profits. Customers do not want to "shop around". It is easier to stay put. Give them a reason to be loyal and spend more with you.
2. In the 2010 Customer Experience Impact Report commissioned by RightNow Technologies, a full 85% of customers say they are willing to pay more than the standard price to ensure a superior customer experience. The details range from 76% saying they would pay 5% more to 10% willing to pay a up to a 25% premium.
Does your customers' experience differentiate your company enough? Too many organizations promise an experience yet the reality does not match. Companies spend millions on advertising, marketing and brand building. However their processes and people do not deliver. Take time to do your own reality check.
Remember a customer will pay more for a superior service experience. And a retained customer is a more profitable one.
3. In the RightNow research, 66% of customers said they would be encouraged to spend more if there was improved service.
You know the old saying, "It is easy to get a customer once, keeping the customer is the hard part". If you attracted the customer once, make certain you turn them into an advocate of your incredible service. Word of mouth remains the most powerful tool to affect buying decisions. Improve your customer service starting now. Talk it, coach it and practice it everyday.
4. Research by RightNow confirmed what we already know. 73% stopped doing business with an organization due to rude staff, 51% due to ill-trained staff and 55% because issues were not resolved in a timely manner.
None of us are perfect but look at the research – not being nice, not being
knowledgeable and not being timely drive away your customers.
You know this. Fortunately, these three are fixable – hire it, train it, coach it, expect it, reward it and be the role model for it.
Start now. Your customers deserve great customer service experiences and your bottom line will benefit.
Lisa Ford is a speaker with over 20 years of experience presenting to businesses, associations and government. She speaks throughout the United States and internationally on topics of customer service, leadership, team issues and change. Her recent book is Exceptional Customer Service - Exceed Customer Expectations to Build Loyalty and Boost Profits.
This article was originally published on Lisa's Customer Service Blog, where you can read more articles by Lisa Ford.