AccurateLeads’ recent study reveals the importance of quality customer service in attracting and maintaining clientele and indicates an opportunity to leverage this shortcoming. The research characterizes poor customer service as a nationwide “epidemic.” The 2012 Forrester’s Customer Experience Index indicates that, in the current year, only 37% of brands received “good” or “excellent” customer experience scores, while the majority, 64% received “OK”, “poor”, or “very poor” .
AccurateLeads researchers suggest: “This is shocking, especially when considering an estimated $83 billion dollars are lost from US enterprises every year due to defections and abandon purchases as a result of poor customer experiences, according to the Parature Customer Service Blog. In the presence of a suffering economy, no business can afford to lose customers due to less-than-adequate service.”
Analysts suggests that this problem also poses an opportunity. Given that Americans are, on the whole, disappointed with customer service, businesses can capitalize on unsatisfied customers. According to the 2012 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, approximately nine in ten of Americans surveyed (93%) state companies fail to exceed their service expectations. When a company meets or exceeds customer expectations, rising above the competition can significantly enhance customer retention and acquisition. Notably, 86% of customers are willing to pay more for an improved customer experience (RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report 2011).
AccurateLeads concludes that quality customer service is paramount in bringing in new clients and retaining old ones and shares 4 simple tips on providing it:
- Communication – Recognize the value of a good first impression by treating people with courtesy and respect. Respond to customers in a timely manner and check up on them consistently.
- Listen – Show genuine interest when listening to customer concerns by creating an emotional connection. Give customers what they want: to be thoroughly understood and feel special.
- Knowledge - Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of products and services to secure customer trust and confidence.
- Deliver on promises - Only make promises that can be fulfilled; failing to do so compromises credibility.