I read this article in Call Centre Clinic featuring some new research that estimated British companies are losing £12bn a year of business due to poor service. It sounds like an enormous estimate – a billion pounds of business lost every single month just because of poor service!
But there is some method to the research. 56 per cent of the managers surveyed would never return to a company after a poor customer service experience. 27 per cent would ensure they tell their friends and peers about the poor experience and a full 92 per cent of respondents confirmed that they have switched supplier based on customer service in the past.
With more people now active on social media channels, the 27 per cent figure actually sounds quite low. These days anyone facing a nightmare experience with a customer service channel can easily tell their hundreds – or thousands – of online contacts about the experience in a matter of seconds.
The research shows that people are naturally loyal when they get good service. People want to be served well and once we find a good supplier there is a bonus in staying loyal – no need to waste time on comparing other suppliers for a start – but the moment that customer service becomes an issue, managers are prepared to be footloose.
The message is clear. Customer service can be a key differentiator that has a cash value – getting it right first time is not just a cost to the business. It is essential for you to retain the clients you have taken years to win.
Photo by Sin Agua licensed under Creative Commons