Only 4% of customers trust advertising the most for service information, so can your good customer experience to help seal the deal with customers?
Recently businesses surpassed $200 Billion dollars a year in advertising spending. Yet fewer and fewer customers are trusting advertising as the source of information for products and services.
Word of mouth carries a big, heavy stick when it comes to the reputation of your business products and services. Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, and other social media and reviews sites help to amplify to voice of the customer. With the power that a single bad customer service experience can have at creating future business opportunities, it’s critical that you focus on investing in customer service.
Why should you invest in a better customer service experience?
The Internet has amplified the ability for news to travel and instant speed, especially bad news. Many customer service management software providers focus on developing more effective tools to help you stay on top of managing your customer experience and ensuring that your customers are getting good customer service from your staff, all of the time.
The fine folks at Zengage, the Zendesk blog put together a fantastic infographic outlining the importance of customer experience and the impact that it has on getting new customers and keeping your customers happy.
Why Customer Experience Matters
40% of customers began shopping with a COMPETITOR, because they heard about the company’s good customer service. Reputation for great customer service alone will create the incentive for customers to give you a try.
Good experience grabs customers and your great customer service can be a vehicle for generating sales and helping the bottom line, the key becomes keeping those customers once they’ve given your company a shot.
Are you listening to your customers?
When bad experiences happen, you have an opportunity to make things right. Some of your most loyal customers will be those who have seen you show that your customers really matter.
But a troubling trend with customers today is that many feel like companies don’t care enough to make things right, so fewer customers today are trusting companies to resolve issues. Instead, customers with problems are taking to their social networks to vent.
A full 85% of customers who had a bad customer service experience wanted to warn others about doing business with the company. 66% of customers wanted to discourage others from doing business with the company. 55% of customers wanted to vent their anger. But only 24% of customers actually tried to contact the company to get the issue resolved.
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An exceptional customer experience really does go a long way. Even as the world is moving away from the traditional retail experience, customers are still looking to feel valued. Businesses should take the time to listen to what their customers have to say and respond. You can’t put a price on a lifetime of brand loyalty. Great article!
No you can’t. And that’s a challenge because “loyalty” doesn’t necessarily appear as a line item in budgets and in corporate annual reports. So when we talk about making customer experience part of the culture of the organization and converting everyone to a mission of customer-focus, it’s critical. Otherwise it’s easy to lose sight of customers when it comes to day-to-day operations.
Great article, it’s amazing how many of our strongest client relationships have started from our positive reaction and proactivity vis a vis customer problems.
And on the flip side, I’ve seen many of my strongest client relationships from problems that have happened but for which our team had a process to go above and beyond to show customers that we really care about making things right.
So it’s key that you can both impress at first and also express genuine concern and show action when things go wrong.
Great, relevant topic, Flavio! Customer service is of utmost importance now more than ever. Not only do I feel like I deserve great customer service as a consumer, but I also try to practice what I preach in my day to day job. I think it take little effort to help someone and create a positive image for the company, yet it goes incredibly far. Word of mouth accounts are still the strongest form of marketing/advertising and clearly, customer service is most important to those discussing brands.
I think that you are right on. Unfortunately, I think that word of mouth tracking and reporting is still in its infancy so the statistical measurements need development in order to help us truly see the impact of WoM.
I know we have NPS and other measurements, but many of them focus on customers’ willingness to tell others, but actually customer referrals aren’t tracked as sophisticatedly as other methods of customer acquisition.
Great informative article. Interesting statistics. I’m not sure about the title though… I would not put customer service vs. advertising. They both are important. They need to work together. Marketers do care about word-of-mouth marketing and net promoter score, which both depend on whether customers recommend brands to others based on their personal experiences. Customer service and marketing have the same objective: to get people to like their brands and to make their companies profitable. Therefore, customer experience management and marketing need to work together as a team to create a satisfying customer experience across product lines, service, and marketing points. Expectations should match reality.
Oh Alla, but that’s all part of writing. The title is to get you to look twice in today’s world of constant information.
But all writing tricks aside, you are absolutely correct. Customer experience and advertising HAS to work together. The problem is that if you step into most businesses today and ask how many marketing executives are working hand-in-hand with customer service executives to ensure a complete and connected experience, you would find that very few are.
Most organizations have silos that have these group operate mostly independently of each other when they need to be working together in order to get the most bang for their buck.
A great and a refreshing piece. Reminds me of a principle that was taught in my marketing class. The customer is the King; please him and remain in his territory. Displease him and experience the wrath of his majesty.
I hate to say this in light of the Happy season, but we have had some terrible Customer Service from several major companies. And, my reaction to all their rudeness, failure to answer after a half hour wait on the phone, failure to return calls, total ineptness in responding to legislate questions or trying to correct the companies errors, is to stop doing business with that company immediately – which we have done. No longer will we ever put up with a company who doesn’t care about its customers and fails them when they need assistance. State Farm Insurance is one of those who entire organization ought to be fired. United HealthCare is another profits only mentality. We had to engage out state Attorney General to resolve a problem with a computer firm – and it did get resolved immediately. And, if I never again talk to a nice foreigner about a service or technical issue, it will be too soon as frankly, I can’t understand 90% of them and their technical expertize is horrible. I am beginning to think this country and a majority of its businesses have become mediocre! What do you all think? Happy New Year and hoping for Better.
Interesting read Flavio; the concept abounds but the data is perhaps a little out of date (this was originally published in 2011). I wonder how this has changed with the growth of social? Would Google still come out on top as the most trusted search engine?
The research showed in the post is helpful.where as the pointo CS is really important in each and every industry.the products can be bought from others but the experience matters :)
I’ve always believed as a marketer that you should, “Plan on creating wow experiences, not wow ads.” To me this is a modern marketing element that will make it more likely your business will succeed.
Its good for business to have acomplate plan to succeed by using marketing,advertising and customer service.
@Flavio Martins…..can you take a shot at how this relates to recruiting and staffing for a F100 company?
I always get concerned when I see headlines like this:”Customer Experience is More Important Than Advertising”.Sounds like vested interests involved! Most leading marketers understand the value of getting the balance right in business. It’s not a competition between elements of the marketing mix. It’s about synergy and getting all arrows to point in the same direction for the good of the brand and ultimately the best customer/brand relationship. In my experience presentations like this turn off sophisticated marketers.
Patrick at least exceeding expectations is good to go for the wow but all the time possibly is overdoing it. What exceeds expectations? Usually it is something that costs nothing but like others have mentioned the customer feels appreciated and service has been head and shoulders above the norm. Fix it, Do it, Can do..we can all add some of these. Closing the loop and keeping the customer informed has always been good client focus and best practice service management.
You exceed their expectations because you have done just that and being informed meets their expectations – one minor example. However how rare is this? Is the person that does this a stranger on planet earth? Name your top customer experience/service companies – mine have been IInet and Amcom and you have to love IInet advertising that guy is Mr cool!
I have always believed when a customer contacts you with a problem/concern before you answer. Ask yourself this question “if it was you what resolution would you like to see”. There are unreasonable customers out there which we should protect ourselves from. However if we treat customers how we would like to be treated then we have already won half the battle. Empower your service staff to deliver that promise, as a customer I don’t want to explain the situation to 3 different levels of management. Deliver what you promised when you said you would and let them know immediately if this is not possible, even more so for the challenging customer the thorn isn’t as sharp the sooner you grasp it, but it can grow large if left to fester.
Customer satisfaction must be the priority of any bussines, with high quality product , service and aftermarket attention to them.
Selling the first time is easy, keeping a customer loyalty and satisfaction, should come before all the bean counters and careless stockholders.
To produce the above you need to show passion for the details, a zillion reports of intel, marketing, finance, etc. are only waste paper if you and your Organization do not care about your Customer.
It IS all about EXCEEDING customer expectations. Do that, and you’ve got a friend for life. Don’t do that – the customer, and an average of 19 of his/her friends, won’t be back. This goes for ALL phases of a customer interaction – including “marketing” – but it all depends on the human interaction! Happy New Year!
I agree that customer satisfaction, and WOWING the client is the most important thing for GREAT business. But what Managers or “The BOSS” fails to realize is that it starts with THEM and treating there staff with importance and respect. You can have all the “staff training” you want. But if a worker doesn’t feel “the love” then it won’t relate to customers and sales will not grow. In short, my saying is ” Have a great leader, people will follow”…- Happy 2014! Tonia*
Flavio great article! I am particularly interested in the lack of ways customers can communicate with retailers. How does one easily give feedback either good or bad without a big hassle and without feeling no one is listening? http://rocheonretail.blogspot.com/2013/12/we-need-more-customer-surveys.html
Agreed that it is the customer experience that makes the difference. 2012 web site had 841 customers of which 84 used it in Dec. Of the 84 only 30 came to the new website in Jan 2013 when I started with new software. By the end of the year I had 1,485 customers.
If #CX is more important than advertising, you gotta ask if your company is allocating resources to the right projects and initiatives.
I completely agree with your excellent post, Flavio! We’re now in the Era 2.0, so marketing needs to be no longer unidirectional but bidirectional, so companies have to listen to customers because otherwise their opinions and complaints on Social Networks can seriously damage their brand image as it has already happened in several occasions. That’s why they need customer-oriented Community Managers with long Customer Service experience.
Nice article, Flavio. The way we use social and digital engagements to stay in touch with friends and family is transforming the way customers connect with brands. We want a more meaningful interaction with a brand, versus an ad. We’d agree that it’s critical for brands to proactively listen to customers, and provide the kind of experience that they’ll want to share with their friends.
We recently conducted a survey asking what kind of online experience will win or lose a customer’s loyalty. We invite you to take a look, if you’re interested. Thanks! http://www.liveperson.com/connected-customer/posts/How-to-Lose-a-Customer-in-76-Seconds-or-Less
This is something we at iTrueReview have been speaking to for some time! You guys nailed it! The experience of the customer is critical because after the customer leaves they touch so many points that can make or break a business. One Harvard study shows that a 1-star rating equates to an 8% loss or gain in business. Being a restaurant owner for 16 years, I’ve learned the difference between our perceived perception and the guests and thinking that they were the same is a mistake. We talked to everyone, touch tables and used comment cards but still never received a true picture. It led me to create iTrueReview.com which serves as management tool to enhance the efficiencies of a business in variable ways. One is the ability to capture feedback from customers while they are still within my business. It allows those not willing to share their feedback directly a means of doing so via an electronic device. Their comments are then delivered to me within seconds where I can immediately analyze and/or take the necessary steps to ensure a better overall guest experience for them or other guests. Too often today, as I visit restaurants throughout New York, I hear, I know my customers, they tell me… The truth is, they really don’t.
Completely agree with this thesis. As the old adage goes, word of mouth is the best free advertising or the worst way to share your disappointing delivery. Delight the customer and they will advertise for you.
Brian Erik Cohn