When you’re growing your business, there’s a lot that needs to be taken care of, and often we have to focus on our supply chains, our marketing strategy, our product design, and a thousand other things that just can’t seem to wait.
But there’s one thing that really can’t wait: your customers.
A study from Purdue University found that 63% of consumers stop using a company's products based on a negative call center experience. The figures from the 2011 Customer Experience Impact Report are even more damning: 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor after a poor customer experience.
If there’s one thing that’s extremely vital to your company’s long term success, it’s good customer service.
You could even say that customer service is the most important thing for your company to get right.
Your Reputation will be in Shambles
Warren Buffet said:
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.”
With the internet and social media, news of the customer experience spreads fast. It only takes one bad customer experience to go viral and influence the attitudes of hundreds of thousands of customers.
In the US, 44% of customers develop a bad image of a brand after a poor customer service experience. Take the case of United Airlines, which is infamous for losing $180 million and 10% of its stock price on a single customer incident. United Airlines failed to properly handle David Carroll’s guitar during transit. After refusing to pay for his damaged guitar--a gesture that would have cost no more than $1,200--the musician wrote the song, United Breaks Guitars, which hit more than 15 million views on YouTube.
You Lose Repeat Customers
One of the worst things that can happen as a result of poor service is the loss of even the most forgiving and understanding customers. Consumers tend to do business with a company for convenience or out of habit, or because your company provides a specific service or product that is different from the competition.
However, customers will turn away from you even with a stellar product if the customer experience is unfavorable.
With the pace of the internet, even potential customers can quickly be turned away as public sentiment goes against your business. Comcast is notorious for its poor customer service, whether its missed customer appointments, poor service coverage, outages, and bandwidth caps. The results are telling: Comcast shares saw a 7% decline last quarter as subscribers shifted to competitors. Unfortunately, this is an all too common response to poor customer service.
You get into a Vicious Cycle of Cutting Corners
The entire ordeal goes into a real rut, however, once your loss of customers and sales starts digging into your bottomline. The typical response to a loss in profits is in cutting the budget. And when the budget is cut, the most common department to take it out from is marketing and customer service.
In 2015, the IRS publicly stated that their poor customer service was due to budget cuts. It was found that 60% of calls to the IRS were being left unanswered, and IRS officials explained it was due to the much smaller budget, which was $1.2 billion less than it was in 2011. Sadly, this is how many businesses and startups tend to get run.
If you haven’t already been giving customer service the time and resources it deserves, now would be a good time to ensure that your customers are getting top-class service.