Choose Wisely… Because Your Customers Have Choices Too
Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
by Lisa Heflin-Rike
There are a multitude of choices out there. Customers realize this too. Retaining customers is achieved one customer at a time. That simple statement requires a boat-load of effort and focus with every single customer interaction. Research reveals that customer loyalty is won or lost with each interaction and that caring is an essential factor.
Customer expectations are ever-rising and are heavily influenced by the easy access to competitor information and consumer reviews via the internet as well as the need to have control in tentative, recession-marred times. In the book “Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000″, author Pete Blackshaw advises companies to embrace and deliver trust, authenticity, transparency, listening, responsiveness and affirmation to customers. Consumer-to-consumer conversations happen at amazing speed. Social networks, blogs, Twitter, Facebook and video sites scatter customer comments throughout the world faster than we can blink. Customers expect companies to recognize they are different than other customers and to be treated accordingly.
The following gives insights into customers’ perception of the service they are receiving and the high value placed on service:
• 77% of the customers surveyed said the service they received stayed the same or got worse in the last few years
• 57% of surveyed customers reported having a recent bad experience (a significant increase from 47% in 2008)
• Only 33% of those customers said the issue was resolved (20% reported “no answer” from the company!)
• Of the 33% who received resolution, 30% stopped doing business with that company anyway
• “Treats me like a valued customer” is one of the top five characteristics customers want when they interact with a company
The bottom line and exceptionally good news is that customer service is within each service provider’s control. Each contact center representative, every sales person, all frontline employees have the choice to be personally accountable to serving each customer in the manner that furthers their personal success as well as their organizations success. It all starts with a choice.