You always knew that customer service was important to your customers. Do you know how much they are willing to pay for it?
A recent survey by the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, exploring attitudes and preferences toward customer service, reveals that providing high caliber customer customer service platform service unlocks terrific potential to grow their business income, improve reputation, and retain customers.
Perhaps the most significant revelation of this survey is that customers are willing to pay more, up to 9% more, to ensure that they obtain superior customer care. How can you use this information in your business? By examining the impact of customer service on the cyclical nature of customer experience, it can be understood why customers value a positive experience so highly.
The cycle begins with the customer’s first experience with your store. When a customer is deciding whether or not to spend their hard-earned dollars at a store, the store’s customer service reputation is one of the most influential factors in their decision.
In fact, 91% consider the level of customer service that they perceive the company to have to be extremely important when initially deciding to do business. Notice the key word “perceive” – meaning you can influence the perception your customers have! Actively solicit customer testimonials and provide the social proof your customers want, then post them EVERYWHERE – in the store, on your website, on emails, and on your fan page.
However, simply having a reputation of quality service is not enough – it must be
seen in action! For this reason, it is vital that the customer’s first experience lives up to or exceeds their expectations. What is something extra that you could offer?
The next step of the cycle is to retain the customer. Sadly, almost half of all customers surveyed feel that stores make the effort to get them in the door, but then take them for granted. This is where great opportunity exists for a store that provides stellar customer service for existing customers.
What’s more, the survey revealed that customer service strongly impacts the consumer’s future spending decisions. Not surprisingly, 81% of customers are very likely to repeat business after receiving positive service. Equally as important, 52% of consumers said that they would not patronize a business after a negative experience. Clearly, wonderful service keeps them coming back for more! (Although I was also struck by the fact that 48% are forgiving enough to return. Tune in next week and learn what specific steps to take to get them back!)
The final step of the cycle is how the customer shares their experience with others. The marketing power of a positive customer experience is priceless. Many assume that customers are more willing to share negative experiences. On the contrary, the survey revealed that 75% are very likely to share a positive experience!
Consider the ability the customers have to broadcast their experience worldwide through ever-so-powerful social media, it seems foolish to not emphasize quality customer service in your business. You never know when or with whom your customer will share his or her experience and get a new potential customer to walk in your door and start the cycle all over again. This is why it is crucial that every customer has a spectacular experience every time!