Victoria Georgalakis, Senior Vice President, Global EMEA Region
We all know how important customer relations is but…
A Gladly 2018 Customer Service Expectations Survey found that, of almost 1,000 consumers polled, 92% say they would stop purchasing from a company after three or fewer poor customer service experiences. And of these, more than a quarter would stop after just one bad experience.
Not only is the standard of customer service more important than ever, but fast response to online enquiries is also now expected. According to a report in NewVoice Media, when asking about a product or service, 66% of consumers expect a response to their query on the same day, and over 40% expect a reply within the hour.
It adds up to a communications landscape that has changed dramatically, and will continue to evolve rapidly as technology and digital evolution drive customer expectations and change how we do business.
In a world of instant connectivity, customers expect to engage across voice, chat, email and social media, and they expect companies they interact with to also communicate seamlessly across those platforms.
While companies do, of course, recognise the importance of customer satisfaction, many have not kept pace with the speed of change. For example, and we see this regularly, a company might deliver brilliant customer support by phone but be poor over Facebook or Twitter, despite knowing that their customers are active there.
The fact is that, while finding new customers is a never-ending corporate priority, it’s vitally important to retain existing customers. Consumer loyalty is not guaranteed, so if a brand fails them or makes life too hard, consumers will quickly switch allegiance.
In other words, savvy companies don’t now just compete for new customers. They must compete to retain the customers they have, and what was considered good customer service in the past may now be considered unacceptable.
For example, a survey by Salesforce Research found that 84% of customers said that being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business.
However, 57% of customers stopped buying because a competitor provided a better experience. And in social media, 62% of customers say they share bad experiences with others.
Paying insufficient attention, or being lax about service delivery, can detract from brand value and, ultimately, profitability. But good customer service enhances brand loyalty, improves customer retention, and brings new customers into your business.