“The customer is always right” is a tried and true adage that exhorts customer service reps and businesses to hold customer satisfaction in the highest esteem. While we’ve known this for the better part of the last century, believing anything but comes at a hefty price, particularly in the digital age.
New research suggests some staggering statistics, that poor customer service is costly to the tune of $41B per year. According to NewVoiceMedia (News - Alert), that is the approximate amount businesses are losing to unhappy customers.
A little less than half (44 percent) of U.S. consumers are taking their business elsewhere due to inadequate service, and of that 44 percent, 89 percent have moved to other companies at least once in the last year.
In the contact center, one of the top frustrations was not being able to talk to a live person right away. Following that, people cited unhelpful contact center staff, being passed from agent to agent and being kept on hold as reasons to take their business somewhere else.
"With $41 billion of revenue being transferred between companies, this research reinforces just how much influence customers have on a business's success", said Jonathan Gale, CEO of NewVoiceMedia. "Great customer service is the critical differentiator, and investing in providing personalized and engaging customer experiences will help businesses succeed in retaining customers and securing new business."
The success of any company isn’t just measured in revenue dollars. The link between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty may be hard to quantify, but to ignore the contact center and the customer experience is not only foolish, it’s expensive.
Dissatisfaction amongst customers has a significant financial outcome for businesses, and by quantifying this particular impact, businesses can make the moves to correct and establish good customer service practices that will lead to increased revenue, customer retention and customer loyalty.
Customer support is the opportunity to connect to your customers on an emotional level. As we become a more social media-centric society, it is very clear that any customer has an impactful voice they can raise at any time, pretty much anywhere they choose on the Internet. Doing bad customer service seems to become less and less of an option.
In addition to running the risk of alienating current customers with sub-standard service levels, chronically poor service can impact the business’ potential for attracting new customers, in addition to losing dollars.
The bottom line? It costs six to seven times more to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one, according to Bain & Company. Keep the current ones happy.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson