How many times have you clicked on a website to be confronted with a statement like ‘Customer Service is our Top Priority’? When I see something like this my immediate reaction is often to think: ‘Prove it!’ It is one thing to trumpet your commitment to customer service and quite another to actually demonstrate what top customer service looks like in practice. Businesses will have to learn that commitment to good customer service should be more than a mantra. Bad customer service gets talked about and has the potential to destroy businesses.
Why It's Time to Take Bad Customer Service Seriously
- It is 6-7 times more expensive to gain a new customer than it is to keep an existing one (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
- 78% of consumers have abandoned a transaction due to bad customer service experiences (American Express Survey 2011).
- Unhappy customers are highly unlikely to be repeat customers as 89% of customers report having stopped doing business with companies because of bad customer service (RightNow Customer Experience Impact Report 2011)
- People are twice as likely to talk about bad customer service experiences than they are to talk about good experiences (2012 Global Customer Service Barometer)
Bad customer service can cost you money in the short term (through abandoned transactions), in the long term (through the loss of repeat business) and will make attracting new customers so much more difficult (due to negative ‘word of mouth’). Companies who want to be in business for the long haul will have to be serious about eliminating bad customer service. This will mean having systems in place to deal with issues quickly, efficiently and with an emphasis on positive interactions with customers.
To illustrate the true cost of bad customer service we created "The Cost of Bad Customer Service" infographic.