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?
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 22 of the top customer service statistics you can leverage to ensure the former and prevent the latter.
Customer Service Statistics: The Big Picture
How important is creating a positive customer experience? These customer service facts say a lot!
- In 2017, Statista found that 64 percent of Americans contacted some form of customer service.
- HubSpot reports that 62 percent of customers want to communicate with companies via email for customer service, 48 percent want to use the phone, 42 percent live chat, and 36 percent “Contact Us” forms. And, according to Forrester, customers prefer knowledge bases over all other self-service channels.
- Companies that excel at the customer experience drive revenues four to eight percent higher than those of their market, according to Bain.
- Some 64 percent of consumers believe customer experience is more important than price when deciding to make a purchase with a brand, according to Gartner research.
Expectations Are High
Meeting consumer expectations is a challenge. Customers want answers quickly and expect businesses to offer multiple channels for contacting them.
- According to McKinsey, 70 percent of the customer’s journey is based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
- 67 percent of customers will hang up the phone in frustration if they can’t reach a customer service representative, according to American Express.
- Microsoft found that 72 percent of people expect a customer service agent to “know who they are, what they have purchased and have insights into their previous engagements.”
- HubSpot discovered 90 percent of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they have a customer service question, and 60 percent of them define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less. They also found that 33 percent of customers are most frustrated by having to wait on hold and that another 33 percent get frustrated by having to repeat themselves to multiple support reps.
- Statista notes 48 percent of consumers expect a response to social media questions and complaints within 24 hours.
- For complicated troubleshooting, 23 percent of consumers seek out a face to face interactions, according to American Express.
Communication Channels Are Changing
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, and methods that speak to the digital generation, such as chatbots.
- American Express found that 35 percent of U.S. consumers reported reaching out to businesses over social media in 2017.
- Not surprisingly, Microsoft reports that while 65 percent of people aged 18-34 believe social media is an effective channel for customer service, 75 percent of people aged 55 and over do not. They also found that 77 percent of consumers report having used a self-service support portal and that 30 percent rate chatbot interactions as “very effective” in dealing with customer service issues.
- Millennials use their mobile devices to contact customer service at a rate of 43 percent, finds Microsoft.
- Ameyo estimates that by 2020, 85 percent of customer service interactions will be automated.
Maximize the Positive, Minimize the Negative
Looking at online review statistics, it’s easy to see why fostering a good impression is so important and why negative experiences are to be avoided at all costs.
- An estimated 77 percent of customers would recommend a brand to a friend after having a single positive experience, according to the Temkin Group.
- Dimensional Research notes that 90 percent of customers are influenced by positive reviews when buying a product.
- American Express reports that happy American customers will share their positive experiences with about 11 people and angry ones with about 15 people. (American Express) Added to that, data from Ruby Newell-Legner suggests it takes a customer 12 positive experiences to redeem one unresolved negative experience.
- Some 91 percent of customers who are unhappy with a brand will just leave without complaining, according to Kolsky.
It’s All About Retention
To get the most out of customer service ROI, it’s far preferable to keep the customers you already have rather than trying to replace them with new ones.
- Bain and Company notes that increasing customer retention rates by just five percent can increase profits by between 25 and 95 percent, whereas the Harvard Business Review reports that investing in new customers is between five to 25 times more expensive than retaining existing ones.
- Fifty-two percent of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience.
- American Express found consumers are willing to spend 17 percent more on a company that has outstanding customer service.
- And 93 percent of customers are likely to make repeat purchases with companies that offer excellent customer service, according to HubSpot.
Up Your Game
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, give us a call. We’d love to help.