With customer expectations changing, small and medium-sized businesses need to understand what’s expected.

Customer service has become one of the most important parts of every business, especially those who want to create excellent customer loyalty.

Some specific statistics show the direction customer service is headed.

Here are some of the most important customer service statistics every business owner should know.

  1. 62% of consumers across the globe stated they have stopped doing business with an organization or brand after a poor customer service experience. (According to the 2015 Global State of Multi-channel Customer Service Report)
  2. 60% of consumers surveyed stated their expectations for customer service are higher now than they were just one year ago. (According to the 2015 Global State of Multi-channel Customer Service Report)
  3. According to the 2015 Aspect Consumer Experience Survey, 76% of consumers believe the customer service they received shows how the company values them as a customer.
  4. Only 14% of consumers believe inadequate technology is an obstacle when it comes to the customer experience. However, 45% of consumers believe the biggest obstacle to an ideal customer experience is a lack of interest from the company. Both these statistics are according to the Economist Intelligence Unit Creating a Seamless Customer Experience Report.
  5. 47% of consumers stated that the speed of the response they receive when making a complaint or inquiry is a vital element in the overall customer experience. (According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Creating a Seamless Customer Experience Report)
  6. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Creating a Seamless Customer Experience Report, 63% of company executives believe one of the major problems with improving the customer service experience comes from silos within the company and a lack of integrated information systems.
  7. The Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report stated that 53% of professionals in customer service believe analytics will have the most influence on customer service over the next five years.
  8. The Forrester Research North American Consumer Technographics Customer Life Cycle Survey stated that more consumers are now using web self-service over assisted service. The survey showed that the use of web self-service has increased by 17% from 2012 (67%) to 2015 (84%).
  9. 90% of consumers actually expect a company to offer some type of self-service customer support portal and 605 actually view the brand in a favorable way if they offer a self-service option that is mobile-responsive. (According to the 2015 Global State of Multi-channel Customer Service Report)
  10. 75% of companies believe customer service is a way to differentiate from the competition, according to the
    Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report. This is up 18% from the report done just two years ago.
  11. 80% of customer service professionals responding to the Dimension Data Global Contact Centre Benchmarking Report stated they believe their current customer service system won’t meet the needs of future customers.
  12. Weak mobile customer service is harming customer engagement. By 2018, half of the agent interactions will be influenced in some way by real-time analytics. (According to Gartner Predicts 2015)
  13. By the end of 2018, one-fourth of the customer support and service operations will include a VCA or virtual customer assistant across all channels of communication. (According to Gartner Predicts 2015)
  14. According to Gartner Research, knowledge management will transform CRM customer service and rapid retrieval. The creation of relevant content will become a key attribute for leading enterprises by 2018.
  15. Six billion connected things are expected to request support by 2018, according to Gartner Predicts 2016: CRM Customer Service and Support.

What do these Customer Service Statistics Mean?

After looking over these statistics about customer service, it may seem a bit confusing. However, it’s pretty easy to see how important the customer experience has become.

With many consumers making it very clear that they will not remain loyal to a brand after a bad customer service experience, it’s more important than ever to provide exactly what they want.

It’s impossible to eliminate all customer complaints and never make a mistake. However, putting the right systems in place, including a VCA, is a huge step in the right direction.

Customer service has become one of the most determining factors for customers and one of the ways small and medium-sized businesses can compete with larger companies.

Offering excellent customer service and support gives you the ability to set yourself apart.

It’s clear that businesses are going to need to take a good hard look at how they provide support and service for their customers. Offering some type of online, mobile-ready self-service option will only become more important.

Whether it’s offering a way for a customer to troubleshoot an issue themselves, or offering an online chat for those needing assistance, customer service is evolving.

Businesses must provide the very best service and support or they will lose customers to the competition. Make sure you have the right systems in place for online, over the phone, and in-person support and service. If you don’t, you may find your business struggling to keep up and compete very soon.