According to the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, 61% of Americans report that quality customer service is more important to them in today's economic environment, and will spend an average of 9% more when they believe a company provides excellent service.
However, only 37% of Americans believe that companies have increased their focus on providing quality service:
Jim Bush, Executive Vice President, World Service, says "Customers... expect superior service... (and) are focused on getting good value for their money... consumers say companies haven't done enough to improve their approach to service... it's important to see customer service as an investment, not a cost."
91% of Americans consider the level of customer service important when deciding to do business with a company, but only 24% believe companies value their business and will go the extra mile to keep it:
81% of Consumers are far more likely to give a company repeat business after a good service experience, while 52% are unlikely to do business with a company again after a poor experience. Consumers say the three most influential factors when deciding which companies they do business with include:
48% of consumers report always or often using an online posting or blog to get others' opinions about a company's customer service reputation. But when consumers go online they put greater credence in negative reviews on blogs and social networking sites than on positive ones (57% and 48%, respectively).
Mr. Bush continued, "... in the online space, positive recommendations are important, but people often give more weight to the negative. Because consumers... broadcast their views so widely online... every service interaction... becomes even more crucial... "
Importantly, consumers are far more forgiving if a company has earned their trust over time. 86% of consumers report they're willing to give a company a second chance after a bad experience if they've historically experienced great customer service with that company. But companies who get it wrong should realize it's at a cost:
For more about the study, including data from a variety of international countries, please visit American Express here.