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Great Customer Service Results in Sales

December 5, 2013

Bad Customer Service Costs $83 Billion a Year!

Just last week, I was personally reminded that customer service isn’t dead, and more importantly, good customer service results in sales.

The situation: My son is growing overnight, literally. The coat he wore on Thursday doesn’t fit him Friday, and meanwhile, temperatures are dropping on the East Coast. No big deal … a quick trip to a local store for a new coat, right? Wrong! Ever taken a young child shopping when he doesn’t want to be there?

He’s having none of it, I mean a full-on kicking and screaming tantrum as soon as we walk in the door. It’s been a long week for Mom, and apparently for child as well, so I’m about to leave and try again tomorrow, until … How Can I Help You?

I just want a coat, sizes 4-7. Follow me, they are right down here. (Still not so easy, as I’m struggling to get my child on his feet to take those steps to coat aisle.) What size? 4/5. Next thing I know, she brings me a 4/5 coat with an added bonus of being unzipped and off the hanger. I wrestle my son into the coat long enough to see if it fits (Hallelujah, it does), and now she’s returned with several coats in hand. Here are all the 4/5s. I scan the coats, grab the best color, thank her, and make my way to check-out.

The bottom line:  I would not have made a purchase that day, at that store, if it had not been for that customer service.

This resonates across all businesses … great customer service leads to sales and not just on that day. Customers who receive great customer service will be more likely to return, and let’s not forget the value of word-of-mouth marketing (I told two friends, they told two friends, etc.).

We should also be reminded of the flip side of the coin, which is bad customer service, and just how detrimental it can be for your business. Here are a few facts:

If Customer Service Is Rude to Us, We’ll Leave and Never Come Back

$83 billion is estimated to be lost by U.S. businesses every year due to poor customer service. Research has also found that two-thirds of consumers have “ended a relationship” with a retailer because of one bad experience and 61% have taken their business to competing brands. (Source: Genesys)

We Care About How We Are Treated When We Buy Things

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels he or she is being treated. In fact, for a company to shine, it has to be there for you during the “moments of truth” like when you lose a credit card or your flight is cancelled, and even when your customer is “kicking and screaming.” (Source: McKinsey)

If We Have a Bad Customer Experience, We’ll Remember It

It takes twelve positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. (Source: HelpScout)

Customer service is an integral part of your job and should not be seen as an extension of it. A company’s most vital asset is its customers. Without them, you would not and could not exist.

-Karen Blanks, Sales Research Consultant