The term customer service is a catch-all phrase that roughly equates to a customer’s experience with and perception of your brand. At the end of the day, are they left with a positive impression or a negative one?
Experts agree that customer service expectations are on the rise. Every year, businesses lose billions in potential revenue thanks to one thing: poor customer service. CS statistics point out that 1 out of every 26 customers complain about poor customer service, over 90% of those dissatisfied customers simply stop working with your business — and never come back.
Positive customer experiences, on the other hand, can help boost sales, retain customers and even bring in new ones. Your brand, in essence, is the personality you present to your customer, so creating an attractive and approachable personality works in your favor.
Understanding the variables that impact customer service means the difference between retaining and growing your customer base versus losing revenue due to lost customers. In this blog, we highlight 63 of the top customer service statistics you can leverage to ensure the former and prevent the latter.
Part 1 – Customer Service Statistics: The Big Picture
How important is creating a positive customer experience? These customer service facts say a lot! Proper CS doesn’t actually begin when a customer makes a purchase on your site or when they contact you with a question or complaint. Instead, it begins the very first moment that a consumer interacts with your website, follows you on social media, or sets foot in your store.
The most successful customer service strategies are those that work to anticipate the needs of a customer, instead of simply responding to them. You must anticipate when a customer is the most likely to need assistance, suggestions/recommendations, advice, or anything else. Engage your customers at the key points of their overall customer journeys. Find out more from the following statistics:
75% of brands report that they are measuring customer engagement, but that they cannot give an exact definition of what it is. Kolsky
Companies with excellent customer experience drive revenues 4-8% higher than their competitors. Bain
It takes as many as 12 positive customer experiences with a company to compensate for a single negative experience. Glance
62% of customers prefer communicating with companies via email for customer service, while 48% of customers prefer phone calls, 42% opt for chat, and 42% fill out Contact US forms. HubSpot
Part 2 – Customer Expectations Are High
Meeting consumer expectations is a challenge. Customers want answers quickly and expect businesses to offer multiple channels for contacting them. In today’s world — thanks especially to the meteoric rise of e-commerce and e-retail shops — customer service needs to be constant.
You need to find a way to make sure that you’re available to your customers on their schedules and terms, not on your own. You can do this by providing tracking numbers, clearly outlining your policies/shipping times on your website, improving website user experience, or even outsourcing some of your customer service representatives to those in different time zones.
The following customer service statistics point out that the majority of customers expect an immediate response to sales, marketing, or other customer-service-based queries. This means you need to stress the importance of fast responses to your team, but also that you need software that will help you to manage all the requests you have coming in so that no one falls through the cracks.
44% of customers have left a brand after receiving poor service and as many as 89% have done so more than twice in a year’s time. Smart Customer Service
When asking a customer service question, 90% of customers consider that an immediate response is important or very important. 60% of them define “immediate” as a 10-minute-or-less waiting time. HubSpot
Businesses hear back from only 4% of dissatisfied customers. The rest of the 96% abandon the brand and out of these, 91% never come back. “Understanding Customers” – Ruby Newell-Legner
72% of people expect customer service agents to “know who they are, what they have purchased and have insights into their previous engagements.” Microsoft
33% of customers feel most frustrated when they have to wait on hold. Another 33% are irritated if they have to repeat their questions to multiple support representatives. HubSpot
48% of consumers expect a response from brands within 24 hours when they ask a question on social media. Statista
23% of consumers seek out a face to face interaction when they have a complicated customer service issue. American Express
67% of customers around the world believe that customer engagement levels have improved in the last 2 years. Ameyo
After receiving poor customer service from a business, 89% of consumers have switched to a competitor. Harris Interactive
Part 3 – Communication Channels Are Changing
Welcome to the modern Digital Age, in which technology and the Internet reign supreme. It seems as though we’re all connected to our smartphones on a regular basis. Businesses in many industries have learned to take advantage of this online marketplace.
You also need to make sure your customer service representatives focus on omnichannel engagement to make sure that questions aren’t just answered in a timely manner, but they’re answered on the medium that the customer is most likely to engage with. For example, younger customers may prefer communicating over email or social media, while those from older generations may wish to receive a letter or a phone call. Learn more about how communication channels are changing from these customer service statistics:
In America, 35% of consumers reported reaching out to businesses via social media in 2017. American Express
18% of customers expect to receive a response from a company’s social media within one hour. Statista
84% of American customers who have sent customer service requests over social media report receiving a response from the company. Microsoft
55% of people aged 18-34 consider social media to be an effective customer service channel, while as many as 75% of people aged 55 and over do not. Microsoft
Part 4 – The Increasing Popularity of Self Service
With such a high percentage of consumers reaching out for customer service, businesses need to offer a range of customer service approaches. The struggle is to balance the needs of “old school” consumers who might, for instance, prefer phone calls, but also implement modern CS technology that speak to the digital generation, such as chatbots. Self-service is on high demand and it is quickly becoming the staple in customer service.
Automating customer service communication and switching to self-service can be intimidating. It may seem like you’re undermining the value of human interaction. Still, it’s important to consider that interactions with customers are opportunity. It’s a chance for you to show you care about them. Don’t treat customer service software as a replacement for human connectivity. Instead, go about it a different way.
Remember that you can personalize those customer interactions and use analytical data to be proactive about generating specific experiences for different customers. Learn more about how customers feel about automation and self-service from these CS statistics:
30% of consumers say not being able to reach a human when reaching out to customer service is the most frustrating part of a bad CS experience. Microsoft
Part 5 – Maximize the Positive
According to customer service statistics, most buying experiences are based on how customers feel they are being treated. Each positive customer experience is a step forward for your business. Don’t underestimate the value of every single customer interaction. Those interactions have a direct correlation to your business’s profit margins.
Whether they’re buying from you or reaching out with a question, consider it an opportunity to enhance your reputation. Don’t cut corners when you’re developing a positive customer experience for your business. Customers want to feel valued and appreciated. By enabling customer experience software, you’re optimizing your business’s transactions.
Satisfied American customers share their positive experiences with 11 people, while dissatisfied customers share their negative experiences with 15 people. American Express
73% of customers consider their experience memorable if they interact with friendly employees or customer service representative. Harris Interactive
77% of customers will recommend a brand to a friend after a single positive experience. Temkin Group
30% of customers believe that the most important aspect of customer service is speaking to a knowledgeable and friendly representative. Microsoft
Part 6 – Minimize the Negative
Your marketing team spent a lot of time and energy developing your company brand. Now, why would you throw all of that hard work away with negative customer experiences? This key factor is the most significant reason to provide the best possible customer service. If you want to keep up with your competitors, you have to streamline these processes on a consistent basis.
You need to think about interactions with customers as a reflection of your company’s overall brand. That branding strategy needs all the positivity you can muster if you want to stay ahead of the game in the long run. Another important focus point is avoiding negative customer service experiences that reflect poorly on your brand and ultimately deter potential customers. How much damage can negative customer experiences do? Find out from these customer service statistics:
In America, 35% of consumers reported reaching out to businesses via social media in 2017. American Express
After a negative experience with a brand’s customer service, 40% of consumers will recommend their friends not frequent that brand. Dimensional Research
After a negative customer service experience, 39% of customers will avoid a company for as long as 2 years. Dimensional Research
of consumers would consider switching to a different brand after just one negative experience with customer service. American Express
As many as 91% of dissatisfied customers will just leave the brand without issuing a complaint. Only 1 in 26 customers will actually complain. Kolsky
72% of consumers regard having to explain their problem to multiple representatives as poor customer service. Dimensional Research
56% of people around the world have stopped doing business with a company because of a poor customer service experience. Microsoft
After a poor customer service experience, the majority of Americans have decided to not complete a purchase. American Express
Part 7 – It’s All About Retention
Your most important customers are those you already have. Not only do they buy and buy again, but they also tell their friends how much they loved your brand. Customer service statistics show that retention is extremely valuable for any business because it can significantly boost revenue. Not only does it inspire more purchases, but it generates trustworthy advertising for your company that is entirely free of charge. Your satisfied customers are your brand’s advocates and they can do wonders for you.
This is yet another reason why you should go the extra mile to keep them satisfied. To do this, you have to understand what they need from you. Mapping the customer journey allows you to increase engagement with your customers before they even make a sale. You’ll know immediately when, where, and how to communicate with them. You’ll identify key touchpoints and make sure the customer finds exactly what they need — and completes their purchase.
93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service. HubSpot
87% of customers who have had a positive experience with a brand will make another purchase from the company, while only 18% of customers who had a negative experience will consider making a second purchase. Forbes
Investing in new customers is 5-25% more expensive than retaining existing ones. Harvard Business Review
38% will stop doing business with a company if they consider their personalization efforts to be “creepy.” Gartner
Consumers are willing to spend 17% more on a company that offers outstanding customer service. American Express
As many as 44% of customers worry that they’ve missed a better option (product, service, or offer) every time they make a purchase. Gartner
Part 8 – Millennials Call it Wright
Always connected to the internet, and constantly on the run, tech-savvy Millennials are now the biggest consumer demographic in North America and are expected to make up to 30% of US retail sales this year. Due to these numbers, they wield considerable influence in how consumers interact with brands, and Customer Service plays a vital role in managing their growing expectations.
Millennials are much more likely to Google a business, to text rather than call, to interact on Social Media or post online reviews and recommendations than their predecessors. They expect personalized service and higher engagement level from companies. Also called the DIY generation, Millennials often prefer to find information and solve things on their own rather than through direct service. Be sure to reach out and listen to this influential generation on all these digital channels; they like their opinions to be heard.
Millennials are the only demographic in America who will tell more people about a positive customer service experience rather than a bad one. American Express
84% of millennials believe that companies are meeting or even exceeding their service expectations. American Express
74% of millennials have reported that their perception of a brand has improved when they found out that the company responds to their customers’ social media inquiries. Microsoft
Up Your Game with Customer Service Statistics
Though defining what counts as customer service can be daunting, these customer service statistics create a clear picture of what organizations can do to improve their bottom lines. Whether it’s investing in new channels of communication or training call center agents, there are tangible ways to enhance customer service.
If you’d like guidance in improving your customer service game, contact MHC today! We’d love to help!