“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” –Warren Buffett
Have you ever considered the true impact of bad telephone customer service, and its affect on customer loyalty, satisfaction and the bottom line? Consumers define the rank the top 3 bad phone customer service as: long wait times/bad on hold experience, difficult to navigate menus and multiple transfers within the same call.
It’s been reported that bad customer service costs 84 billion in the U.S. every year! On the flip side, good service is personalization, responsiveness, competency, and convenience. In fact, 9 out of 10 consumers say that they would pay more to ensure a good customer experience, and 70% of customers will do business with you if you resolve a complaint.
When a customer calls your business, it’s vital that their call is addressed in a timely manner, or they may hang up and not call again, costing your business potential revenue. Allowing the phone to transfer to a voice mailbox during regular business hours can be frustrating for customers as well. Even worse is being put on hold and having a poor on-hold experience such as dead-silence, elevator music or chimes.
Below we take a look at how bad customer phone service experiences can be damaging to your brand and a proven solution to prevent it.
1. Negative OnLine Reviews
Your brand’s reputation is incredibly valuable and not something you want to lose control of. However, especially with the internet, your reputation is the first thing to take a hit when a customer has had a bad customer experience.
When a customer calls your business, the voice on the other end of the line is the customer’s only contact with your organization at that point. Exceptional phone service will give that customer a positive impression of your retail operation while poor, rude phone service and lengthy wait times can convey a bad impression. If a customers has an unpleasant on hold experience they’re likely to talk negatively about your business online, and also jump to a competitor.
Customers today are quick to write negative online reviews when they have a bad experience with a company. In addition to leaving critical reviews, customers also vent their frustrations on social media for their friends, family, colleagues, and the entire world to see. This adds up to is a decrease in overall sales, but more importantly, a major decrease in word of mouth marketing — arguably the most valuable marketing outlet a brand can have.
2.Your Customer Lifetime Value Drops
By now you’re likely aware that acquiring new customers is usually more expensive than keeping your current customers. That is one of the primary reasons delivering great customer service is so important.
Did you know 9 out of 10 customers say they’re willing to pay more to ensure a good customer experience and as much as 70% will continue to do business with you if you resolve a complaint?
While bad customer service can destroy your average customer lifetime value, putting more strain on your marketing budget to attract more customers, good customer service can actually save these relationships.
3. Leads Don’t Convert
Bad customer service kills conversions. Although the term customer service implies current customers, all interactions with prospects, leads, and anyone else can fall into this realm. How many times have you reached out to a business and never heard back? How frustrated were you?
Now, imagine what your leads are thinking when they call to respond or have a query about a product or service offering and they have to wait on hold forever, or have a poor on-hold experience (eg. dead-silence, unpleasant music, etc.)
They’re more than likely thinking: “If this is the service I get when they’re trying to take my money, how are they going to treat me once they have it?”
Bad customer service is not only more expensive than you think, but can be detrimental to your business.
You can ensure good service by hiring competent agents, being proactive about responding, providing multi-channel support and providing better telephone customers experiences than your competition with the use of custom hold music and messaging which in turn provides a more valuable on-hold experience when asking callers to wait. It reduces frustration and perceived wait times for callers making them less agitated when you are in fact able to take their call.
Customer service departments already have a negative stigma associated with them as a whole, so why not surprise people with a positive experience? Great customer service upfront leaves an awesome first impression and gets leads excited about doing business with your company.