I’ve been on the receiving end of some bad customer service on a couple of occasions lately. What I realise is just how much those fleeting experiences have stuck in my mind and more importantly convinced me not to use those companies again. Ok, so I may be getting old and grumpy but it grates on me that those companies are large entities – much larger than ourselves at ICS – they have huge resourses, why aren’t they better?

Before I continue I should say ok hand’s up – I can’t always say categorically 100% that my business has always been perfect. I’m sure there’s been the odd occasion things could’ve been handled better. Or a mis-understanding may have escalated more than is necessary.  And come on let face it – in the real world sometimes the customer really can be difficult. But overall I know that in my business my staff are really polite and offer good honest service – but we have to – I don’t won’t to lose customers. I want my customers to tell their friends that we’re a business to be trusted.  Look what happens when it the opposite…..

Bad customer service spreads like wildfire

A 2016 survey conducted by American Express found that, “While 46% of consumers say they always tell others about good service experiences, an even greater number say they talk about poor service experiences. In fact, 60% said they always share the bad ones, and they tell nearly three times as many people.”

The high cost of poor customer service

In addition to the statistics above, which often fly below the radar, other major takeaways and trends from the available data on the impact of good/bad customer service:

  1. Products attract customers; service drives them away. According to a RightNow Customer Experience Report, 86% of consumers said they’ve quit doing business with a company due to a bad customer experience.
  2. Customer expectations are only getting higher. 51% of consumers admitted they’d only try to contact support once before giving up on a purchase.
  3. What customers want is simple. When asked about why they’d given up on a company’s customer support, 73% of customers cited incompetent (and rude) replies as their primary reason.
  4. Great service impacts the bottom line. Loyal customers are cheaper to retain, are willing to spend more, and 78% of them will recommend your product to others after a great experience.
  5. A low bar creates a big opportunity. While a Bain & Company report found that 80% of companies believe they provide a “superior customer experience,” only 8% of customers agreed.