5 stats that highlight the importance of exceptional customer service

How can you provide excellent service to keep your customers happy?

As consumers, we are demanding. We expect companies to go out of their way to provide an excellent service and keep us happy. The importance of doing this is highlighted by the following stats, which reveal how consumers have become more demanding and why companies need to work hard to hold on to customers.

1) By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

A report by Walker, Customers 2020, emphasises how it is increasingly important for companies to take a customer-centric approach. Of course, price and product will continue to be important factors but the companies that place a high value on the customer experience are likely to be the ones that succeed.

Another interesting takeaway from the report is that it will become essential for companies to use big data and business intelligence to provide proactive and highly personalised customer service. Currently, this may not be seen as a vital part of the process but the report indicates that by 2020, it will be.

2) Customers rank speed of response, speed of resolution and staff friendliness as the three most important aspects of customer service.

That’s according to research by Zendesk. As you’ll probably already know, all three factors are especially important in the field service industry. Delivering a speedy service, both in terms of your response to customers and the resolution of issues, will undoubtedly have an impact on customer satisfaction rates.

If you are not aware of metrics such as response times and how quickly issues are resolved, you should look to find these out. Another great metric to use in field service is that of first-time fix, which is closely linked with the speed of resolution.

3) 66% of consumers globally switched service providers due to poor customer service in 2013.

This statistic perfectly demonstrates the importance of excellent customer service. You’ll already know that a critical element of customer retention is ensuring you deliver great customer service, but this really emphasises it.

The stat comes from a Global Consumer Pulse Survey report by Accenture, which talks of the “switching economy” and estimates the potential expenditure shift resulting from consumers that switch providers. The figure put on this potential expenditure switch is $5.9 trillion globally, meaning that a huge amount of revenue is potentially on offer for companies that can attract dissatisfied consumers from competitors and retain them.

4) Attracting a new customer costs around 6-7 times more than retaining an existing customer.

This stat perfectly demonstrates why every business needs to put effort into their relationships with existing customers. It can be tempting to always chase new business, and I’m not suggesting that shouldn’t be an aim, but doing so should not be at the expense of maintaining relationships with existing clients.

Source: Bain & Company

5) A 10% increase in customer retention levels results in a 30% increase in the value of the company.

This reinforces the point made above; you should be doing your utmost to ensure existing customers are happy and this means prioritising their needs. In the B2B world, this means you should view the success of your customers as an important factor in the success of your business.

Source: Bain & Company

You’ll notice that makes five stats, but I’ve decided to add one more. It didn’t make the main list as it’s is slightly off-topic but I think it is an interesting one for those involved in the services industry:

The July 2014 UK Customer Satisfaction Index ranks the Services industry as the sixth best industry for customer service.

This represents a slight fall from figures released in January 2014 when it was ranked as the fifth best industry. It achieved a score of 78.8 out of 100, compared to 80.2 in January. This shows that companies cannot rest on their laurels even if they already offer excellent customer service, and a customer focus must be maintained where possible.

The list includes 13 industries in total, so 6th place isn’t too bad. Ahead of the Services industry in the rankings are:

  • Retail (non-food)
  • Retail (food)
  • Tourism
  • Automotive
  • Leisure

You can find the UK Customer Satisfaction Index report here.