Today’s blog post is by guest contributor Jodi Gaines Pereira
In a crowded marketplace, excellence in customer service can truly set a retailer apart from the crowd. The Accenture Global Consumer Pulse Research Study, a 10 year study tracking consumer activity worldwide, found that in the US, 53% of consumers switched providers because of bad service in at least one industry. They also found that 80% of the service changes that occurred could have been avoided with better customer service.
Excellent customer service can be the difference between keeping a loyal customer, or losing an unhappy customer and having that same customer share their bad experience. It’s easier than you think to make a positive change quickly.
Customer Service is at the heart of any business. The quality of that service usually mirrors the success of the business. Dimensional Research found that 45% of customers share bad experiences, while only 30% of satisfied customers share theirs. With the popularity of social media, it is much easier for customers to share their stories. If a business wants to retain a solid reputation, it is of the utmost importance that their customer service be top notch.
Online reputations significantly impact customer trust. Dimensional Research also found that 88% of customers are influenced by online reviews when making a purchase. Negative feedback can have a significant impact on sales. Seeing numerous negative reviews attached to an online store diminishes the trust potential customers have that a seller will be able to satisfy their needs.
Timeliness and quality counts. Research shows that 41% of consumers expect a customer service response within 6 hours. Amazon’s response time metrics have also shown that responses that reach customers under 24 hours receive 50% less negative feedback. It’s also important to ensure that customers are getting accurate answers to their questions; 27% of email inquiries are answered incorrectly.
Customer Service is the new marketing. Working towards excellence in customer service is an effective marketing tool. Not only does good customer service invite an excellent online reputation via good customer reviews, but it invites customer loyalty and repeat sales. A satisfied customer is a repeat customer!
About the Author
Jodi Gaines Pereira has over 15 years of experience in e-commerce, marketing and web development. She co-founded iguanafarmGroup (IGF), a web development and digital marketing company, and is the CEO of ReplyManager, a web-based email management tool designed to help online sellers across multiple channels manage all of their incoming buyer messages