Many of us experience varying degrees of customer service on a daily basis. It can range from being an amazing and pleasant encounter to a downright awful and rude experience.
A great experience may entail walking into a local cafe, where the person welcomes us with a beaming smile. If they know us, they may greet us by name and even remember our order. And if they don’t, they make helpful and sincere recommendations. This simple but friendly experience makes us feel good and can set us up for the day.
On the other hand, we may encounter a surly, bad mannered person who obviously doesn’t want to be there. They don’t bother look up, they mutter and chat to their colleague leaving us waiting.
Clearly, the point of a business is to recruit and retain customers, so we have a profitable and viable company. We can only do this if we impress the customer so much that they will want to come back.
Yet sometimes companies forget and if we provide a bad experience, the impact is far greater. It hits the bottom line.
According to BIGresearch, an Ohio based online market research company, "Companies can lose over 85% of customers due to bad customer service. When things go wrong, companies can lose 17% of customers after a single service blunder. If the company is given a second chance and messes up again, they can lose another 40%. And finally, 28% of customers will leave after the third mistake".
It is also widely known that gaining a new customer can cost a business 5 times more than to retain an existing one. Customers who know us and trust us are more loyal. They will often be extra patient and perhaps a little more forgiving when things go wrong. This is especially true with people who had a problem rectified.
The American research company, Bain & Company also found that if a business focus on increasing their customer retention rate by just 5%, they can increase profitability anywhere from 25% to 95%.
In fact, customers who like us will spend 20% more for a reliable and professional service. I like to think the brilliant quotation by Lauren Freedman (President of the E-tailing Group) profoundly supports and reminds us of this fact.
“Always keep in mind the old retail adage: Customers remember the service a lot longer than they remember the price.”
We need to make customer service a priority. Our customers are more assertive and have greater expectations. They are willing to speak up when they are unhappy. They now have the advantage of an instant online platform to voice their opinion if we let them down. If we don’t look after our customers, our competitors will. Surely, its time to invest in providing great customer service?