Two years ago I reported on NewVoiceMedia’s “serial switchers” report that indicated that $62 billion was lost due to poor customer service. That number, in their new report now has that number pegged at $75 billion! That’s a lot of lost business!
Here’s my take on this. Customers want and expect more than ever before – because that’s what we have we taught them.
The customer service rock stars tout the accolades and awards that they have received. And, when our customers visit these businesses, they experience what great service feels like. And, then they come to us.
We promise our customers that we will deliver amazing service, and we may. But, whether or not we do is for the customer to judge. And, here is where that judging gets interesting. They are no longer comparing us to our competitors. They are comparing us to the best service they ever received from anyone.
And, what happens when a customer doesn’t receive the customer service they expect? They switch!
The NewVoiceMedia reports that “Brands are failing to create the positive, emotional experiences that drive customer loyalty.” That failure results in 67% of customers becoming what they call “serial switchers.” Simply put, these customers are willing to switch brands because of poor customer service. And, that’s a 37% increase since their last report. Customers are grading the companies and brands they choose to do business with, and it’s simply a pass/fail grade, where failure means the customer moves on.
The main reasons customers switch are obvious. They feel underappreciated. They are not able to speak to a person who can provide answers. They experience rude employees. And, they are put on hold for unreasonable lengths of time. Personally, I hate holding for a long time while the company’s recorded message states, “Your call is very important to us.”
However, it’s not all “gloom and doom.” There is some good news in the report. 86% of surveyed customers said that if there was an emotional connection with a customer support agent and the customer felt they were cared for and valued, they would be willing to continue to do business with the company again. And, if the company provides good service, 66% of customers would be more loyal and 65% would be willing to recommend the company, and my favorite stat, 48% would spend more.
While the NewVoiceMedia survey focused on customer support centers and B2C, don’t think that the B2B customer won’t switch. The numbers are different in the B2B world, as the customer may have fewer options. Yet, when the B2B customer is ready to renew a contract or reorder supplies, don’t think they aren’t comparing you to other companies outside of your industry. They are. And, some of those companies have created higher expectations that you, at a minimum must meet, but even better, exceed.
Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. For information, contact 314-692-2200 or . For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs, go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken