If you asked your customers or clients, what would they say about your company and the level of customer service it provides? Customer service is a vital part of any business —B2C or B2B — and plays a large role in creating loyal customers. A company that provides great customer service is much more likely to have loyal customers than one that doesn’t. Bad customer experiences can be a major hindrance to any type of company, in any industry.
Poor customer service costs U.S. businesses more than $75 billion a year. According to NewVoiceMedia’s Serial Switchers report, U.S. consumers and businesses today will readily switch from one company to another if their needs aren’t met. In fact, 67% of respondents indicated that they have become “serial switchers,” meaning that they are more than willing to switch companies — and often do so — because of a single poor customer experience. Main reasons for switching: Not feeling appreciated, not getting answers to questions, rude/unhelpful employees and being passed around to multiple (and unhelpful) people, being presented with an inferior product or service or otherwise not having their needs met.
Once they leave, they won’t be back. All it takes is one bad experience to ruin a relationship with even the most loyal of customers or clients, and it’s not very easy to win them back. According to one study, 91% of unhappy customers will never come back to the companies they left. This is especially true in industries with many competitors.
Even if they don’t leave immediately, you’ll have to work hard to keep them over the long term. Research shows that it takes about one dozen positive experiences to make up for just one unresolved negative experience. It is possible to work things out with an unhappy customer or client, but that initial experience can never truly be erased.
Bad experiences are shared at twice the rate of positive experiences. When someone has a bad experience with a company, they often share it with other people in person, over the phone, on social media or in industry circles. Word gets around. The key is to identify — and change — anything that’s creating a negative experience for your customers.