Statistics are powerful. Our own opinions and ideas are certainly important, but in the world of customer service, it’s essential to know what real customers want, think, and need through statistics and trustworthy research. Customers’ needs and wants change over time, so statistics that aren’t recent won’t give you the snapshot you need to make growth-geared decisions.
It can be difficult to wade through statistics and studies to get the summarized information you need, so we’ve done the work for you.
30 Customer Service Stats You Need to Know
After reviewing more than two dozen studies and several books and articles on the subject of customer service and customer experience, we’re presenting 30 customer service stats you need to know. Read through these statistics and let them help shape the changes you make to your business in your efforts to improve your customer service and the experience you’re delivering to your customers.
As you’ll see below, any statistic-backed effort to improve customer service or experience will not be in vain – even small steps in the right direction will yield benefits for your business.
Why improve customer service?
The perceived effort it takes to improve customer service stops many companies from even trying. Don’t let that be you! There are a host of reasons to improve customer service, but perhaps these customer service stats from the 2017 Digital Marketing Trends survey will help drive the point home:
- 86% of customers said they would pay more for a better customer experience
- 3 out of 5 Americans say they’d try a new brand if it meant a better customer service experience
- 80% of companies believe they deliver superior customer service
- …but only 8% of customers said they agreed
- 70% of buying experiences are based solely on how the customer feels they are being treated
- 87% of customers said they think brands need to provide a more consistent customer experience
- 96% of customers said they don’t complain about bad service; instead, they just leave
- Friendly customer service agents succeed at upselling 42% more often than agents customers rated as unfriendly or neutral
An overwhelming majority (87%) of customers think brands should step up their customer service game and nearly the same amount (86%) say they’d be willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
“But we haven’t heard many complaints about our customer service – could that really be the issue that’s causing customers to leave?” Absolutely. Most customers won’t stop to complain about your customer service, leave a negative review, or give you any sign that you’ve goofed up. They’ll swiftly disappear into the proverbial night, leaving you wondering what you did wrong along the way. Many times, according to these customer service stats, the answer is that you didn’t provide a great customer experience.
So, why improve customer service? It’s simple really – if you want to stay in business and gain customers rather than lose them to your competition, you have to provide top-notch customer service.
- 78% of consumers have decided against a purchase because of a poor service experience in the past
- 91% of dissatisfied customers say they won’t shop at the offending business again
The dangers of a bad customer experience
Offering a bad customer experience is pretty far down on the list of terrible, awful things that could happen to your business, but it’s dangerous nonetheless. More than half – 67%, in fact – of your customers take no issue with leaving after they’ve had just one bad experience with your company, and bad experiences are not uncommon.
Chances are, most of your customers are interacting with your business on mobile. If your mobile customer experience is not optimized, you’re delivering a bad experience for your customers. Ninety percent of customers say they’ve had a bad customer experience on mobile. Sadly, many companies don’t optimize their website and content for mobile users even though a majority of their users are utilizing that platform.
Having a great customer experience on the desktop is great, but without offering an equally good mobile experience, you’re going to inadvertently send many customers packing.
What customers actually want
Simple is better, and your customers agree. The number one factor in customer loyalty is reduction of customer effort, according to the Harvard Business Review. Your customers aren’t lazy or entitled; they’re busy, and they want a simple experience when they work with you.
How easy is it for customers to use your website, contact customer service, and use your service or product? Find ways to simplify it for your customers’ sake, and you’ll be rewarded with increased customer loyalty.
“Reducing effort is the most important thing that your service strategy should accomplish. Using neverending IVR systems? Ridiculously long response times? Does resolution require channel hopping and repetitive info inputs from your customers? If you answered yes to any of these, you might be solving your customer’s problem, but you’re definitely not capturing their loyalty and future business.” – Conversocial
Reduction of effort is the number one factor in making your customers “fall in love” with your business, but two other factors are also important: Your staff and quality of service, and the ease of access to information and support. Check out the following customer service stats:
- 73% become loyal to a company based on a friendly staff and great service
- 55% become loyal based on ease of access to information and support
- 78% of customers say competent service reps are responsible for a great customer experience
- 38% of customers say personalization creates a great customer experience
Speaking of customer loyalty, what makes a loyal customer so important? Is there really a need to work to increase customer loyalty?
Why increase customer loyalty?
Making an effort to keep more of your current customers around will certainly pay off. Increasing customer loyalty is not only smart, but it’s also one of the best ways to truly differentiate your brand from your competitors. Here are some interesting customer service stats on increasing customer loyalty.
- It’s 7X more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current customer
- By 2020, customer experience will overtake price + product as the key brand differentiation
- Customers who leave based on customer service-related issues are 4X more likely to go to a competitor
- Customers are 70% more likely to stick with a company that resolves a complaint in their favor
- Loyalty program members spend up to 13% more than two non-members
- Repeat customers spend more than 2X more than first-time customers; $24.50 vs. $52.50
- On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times the dollar amount of their first purchase.
- You have an average of 5-20% probability of selling to a new prospect
- But you have a 60-70% probability of selling to an existing customer
Turning stats into strategy
Now that you’ve read these eye-opening customer service stats, you’re probably wondering about how to turn them into a working strategy that drives more customer loyalty by improving your customer service. Not to worry! We have some actionable tips for you.
When it comes to developing an effective customer service strategy, the first thing you need to consider is who’s handling your customers.
Is it you alone, a customer service team, a freelancer, or a trusted third-party provider? Are you outsourcing or offshoring? Is the person(s) responsible for delivering customer service to your clients friendly, professional, and experienced? If you’re not sure, there’s a good chance you’re already looking at the barrier that’s been holding you back from earning loyal customers and offering top-notch service.
Even a well-planned strategy will be rendered ineffective if you’ve got the wrong person at the helm. There are a few options for those who find they need someone else to help them provide great customer service.
- Go with a freelancer. It’s risky because you’re relying on an individual to handle a customer-facing portion of your business – if they’re not doing a good job, it will reflect poorly on your company and your bottom line. It can be expensive, and freelancers’ rates vary wildly. It’s tough to find the right freelancer and can take some time to hook up with the right one.
- Go with a virtual receptionist or call answering service. It’s the least expensive option on this list, and far less risky than hiring a freelancer. Most of these types of companies provide fully-vetted, background checked, insured, and experienced staff members that handle your customer service (Conversational certainly does). You can ensure a virtual receptionist will follow the same guidelines for every call they answer, and as the stats above show, consistency is key in offering great customer service. Click here to try a free 30 day trial with our virtual receptionists.
- Hire employees. It’s the most expensive option on this list – you’ll have to pay for an employee salary, benefits, bonuses, office equipment, and more when you hire employees to handle your customer service. The upside is that you’ll always have someone around to answer the phone and greet customers – that is, unless your employees take a sick day, bathroom break, vacation, long lunch break, etc.
Did you learn something from these customer service stats? We hope so! We’d love to help you provide a better experience for your customers, one that stands apart from your competition and helps you earn more customer loyalty.
If you’re serious about improving the service you provide to customers, start a risk-free 30 day trial with our virtual receptionists and watch how your customers respond. There’s absolutely no cost to you and your free trial includes 1,000 minutes. Start yours today and your customers will thank you!