Do you have a sneaking suspicion your business isn’t delivering on customer service expectations? Well, I hate to break it to you, but you might right.
The fact is that most companies are out of sync with the people they intend to serve. Customer expectations have evolved incredibly quickly over the past two decades, and organizations have struggled to keep up. Many don’t even recognize that they need to keep up.
Are you aware of how customer expectations have changed? Is your business doing everything it can to provide the best possible customer service? Take our true/false quiz to find out.
True or false: Most customers expect service within an hour.
True. When reaching out to a business, over 80% of customers expect a response within an hour. Actually, most aren’t even willing to wait that long—75% of customers expect help within five minutes.
True or false: One bad experience is all it takes to lose a customer.
False. Although a significant number of people (26% to be exact) will switch to a competitor after a single bad experience with a business, most are willing to give the company another chance. That said, it doesn’t take much after that initial slip-up to lose a customer forever, as 92% of consumers will walk away after the third negative interaction, if not earlier.
True or false: Customers appreciate the convenience of automated technology.
False. For customers, artificial intelligence (AI) and other automated technologies don’t compare to human-to-human interactions. Gladly reports that despite advances in interactive voice response tech, “IVR remains a wildly unpopular choice amongst consumers, with 98% admitting they try to bypass companies IVR systems to get straight to a human service agent.”
Chat-based AI doesn’t fare much better: two out of three consumers say chatbots are only “somewhat effective” or “not effective at all” in resolving their issues.
True or False: The phone call is dead.
False. Even in today’s digital-centric, omnichannel business environment, phone calls remain the dominant medium for customer service. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of people say they prefer to contact businesses by phone. Contrast that with the mere 24% who would rather fill out and submit an online form.
True or false: Customers will pay more for better service.
True. Believe it or not, satisfactory customer services are experiences are so rare that most people are willing to sacrifice upfront savings for them. Recent research by Salesforce reveals that 67% of customers will pay more for great customer service. That number is even higher (74%) among business-to-business customers.
True or false: Customers will tell you when they’re unhappy.
False. You can’t rely on customer feedback alone to measure your customer service performance. An estimated 91% of people who are unhappy with a company’s customer service will simply stop doing business with the company without ever raising a complaint.
These customers aren’t entirely silent, however. According to a White House Office of Consumer Affairs report, “dissatisfied customers typically tell 9 to 15 other people about their experience; some tell 20 or more.”
How did you do? However many of these facts are new to you, one thing should be clear: customer expectations have grown and, in many senses, they’re higher than ever. Today’s customers demand speed, responsiveness, and personalized service. If they don’t get the experience they’re looking for from your company, they’ll go elsewhere—and likely take their friends, family, and colleagues with them.
This isn’t necessarily an unfavorable development for businesses. Higher expectations are a force for good. Deliver on these demands and you’ll cultivate an exceptional reputation, a loyal audience, and extraordinary word of mouth.
We’re talking about creating genuine, longer-lasting connections with your customers—but you have to do things right.