While we all know how quickly a consumer’s news of a poor customer service experiences can spread, what happens after more positive experiences remains somewhat of a mystery. And that’s exactly the question Verint took up in a recent multi-country survey. Of the more than 18,000 respondents, 82% claimed they’d recently had a positive customer service experience with a company.
When asked why respondents believed they had such a positive customer service experience, they attributed it to things like:
- Company representative took time to understand nature of issue
- Speedy handling of requests.
Issues of personalization or service and loyalty, however, provided mixed responses from respondents, resulting in the following sentiments:
- Enjoys service personalized toward interests – 52%
- Enjoys customer service tailored to consumer as a person – 51%
- Believes customer service should be uniform, regardless of who the customer is – 49%
- Expresses suspicion about personal data usage – 48%.
This shows that whether your company strives to personalize the individual customer service experience or instead goes for simple and expedient solutions, roughly half your customer base will be pleased.
But what happened afterwards?
The Verint study provided details about what consumers said they’d do after receiving positive customer service, something that is too often overshadowed by the negative customer service experiences discussed through online channels. The survey found that after a positive experience, consumers were likely to take the following actions:
- Tell their family and friends – 61%
- Post a positive review – 38%
- Join the company’s loyalty program – 27%
- Continue to use or upgrade products/services from the company even when cheaper options exist – 25%
- Engage in more frequent communications with company – 21%
- Post about experience on social media – 17%
- Take no action – 15%.
Since word of mouth is one of the most effective free marketing strategies available to businesses, having nearly two-thirds of respondents ready to discuss the exemplary service your company provided can give the bottom line a needed boost. With nearly 40% of respondents prepared to write and post reviews of their experience with your business on various review sites, this is another positive—and free—step for your company’s branding and reputation management.
Interestingly, less than one-fifth of respondents were prepared to discuss their positive customer service experiences on social media. The Verint survey findings appear to be at odds with other studies that show consumers would much rather provide praise for businesses on social media than offer complaints. This anomaly could say more about the social media usage habits of respondents in the survey countries (Australia, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa, UK and US), potentially skewing the data for each country when viewed individually.
The Verint survey also points out another useful tidbit: Price isn’t always the most important factor. In fact, respondents made it clear that if their customer service issues were handled properly, a full quarter of those surveyed would be willing to continue to pay more with your company than switch to a less expensive competitor.
When looking specifically at customer loyalty over the last three years, Verint found respondents:
- Stayed with their bank – 80%
- Stayed with their mobile phone provider – 65%
- Stayed with their utility company – 62%
- Stayed with an online retailer – 41%.
With the significant gap between loyalty to online retailers and traditional local services, this could indicate an opportunity for local retailers to win business away from online sites through superior customer service practices.
MarketingCharts. How Do Consumers Say They’d Respond to Positive Customer Experiences? October 13, 2015.