Your call is important to us, please hold! The pain and suffering these words cause have been felt by almost everyone who has bought something, ever. The reality is that a large proportion of businesses care more about selling, which means bad service is everywhere.
In fact, according to Forrester’s recently released U.S. CX Index, customer experience quality worsened across the board between 2016 and 2017, with brands losing an average of five points. Temkin Group has reported similar declines in its annual CX ratings. But businesses are investing more than ever in customer experience improvement efforts. So what’s going on? Why do ratings continue to drop?
Bad customer service causes people to switch
Our research indicates that America has turned into a nation of serial switchers. Disappointed customers are increasingly swapping one company for another, with 49% of consumers admitting they have recently left a business due to poor service. Worst of all, by failing to meet expectations, offending businesses are letting a combined $62 billion slip through their hands and into the pockets of their nearest rivals.
Some of the main reasons consumers are jumping ship include not feeling appreciated, getting passed around to multiple agents and being put on hold.
Gaining a competitive edge through good customer service
America may have developed into a nation of serial switchers but, overall, customers haven’t become high maintenance overnight. Great service remains a crucial part of building long-term relationships and brand loyalty.
If provided with good service, 68% of respondents indicated they would be more loyal, 59% would recommend the company to others, 34% would use the company more frequently, and 30% would spend more money. Interestingly, only 10% claimed good service would not affect their relationship with a business, strengthening the argument that treating customers well matters.
Today’s customers demand service on their terms; they also have more power than ever, and more opportunities to look elsewhere if their expectations are not met. Consequently, implementing an effective service strategy has become one of the key ways in which businesses can differentiate themselves and gain a competitive edge.
Using the right tools for the job
For many businesses, the core of customer care still resides in the contact center. However, too many agents have become overburdened, using multichannel operating systems that don’t provide the company-wide insight needed for success. A modern contact center needs to assist and free up service agents to allow them to build relationships with their customers and develop emotive connections to engender loyalty.
Fortunately, this, and many of the problems outlined above, can be addressed by upgrading contact center technology. Look for solutions that allow you to monitor interactions across channels and touch points, providing faster resolution rates for your customers. Many of these solutions also offer the transparency to reduce hold times, eliminate redundant processes and deliver more personalized experiences, which combine to boost profits via improved satisfaction and retention levels.
The poor state of customer service is your biggest opportunity
The nationwide expectation of poor customer service creates an opportunity for companies that can defy expectations and deliver excellent after-sales care. Hanging onto your customers is all about convincing them that you have more to offer than your competitors.
For most businesses, the service they receive from your contact center remains crucial. So, make sure your agents are prepared to stop your customers from switching.