New research conducted over the last 18 months has reinforced why all organizations need to continue improving their customer experience and customer service skills. There is also much clearer direction and focus for customer service training and other programs. Here is a synopsis of what should be guiding your customer experience initiatives for 2016. We’ve divided it into two parts – what organizations need to focus on, and why they should care in the first place. Happy reading!
What Organizations Need To Focus On To Create Positive Customer Conversations
- 92.4% of consumer conversations regarding customer experience are about people. (“Ease of doing business” is a distant second for creating positive word-of-mouth at 13.9%) – Source: The Science of WOW Customer Service, The Belding Group 2015
What This Means: While improving our processes and our technology will be important, what customers will really be talking about is the customer service skills of our front-line teams.
- 86% of positive word-of-mouth about your customer experience is about someone taking ownership of a situation – Source: The Science of WOW Customer Service, The Belding Group 2015
What This Means: Companies need to be proactive in giving their employees the empowerment, tools, skills and mandate to create consistently outstanding customer experiences.
- 71.5% of positive customer service experiences that people share in person or on social media began as negative experiences. – Source: The Science of WOW Customer Service, The Belding Group 2015
What This Means: Skills for dealing with difficult situations and difficult people are far more important than first realized. The impact they have on brand perception is dramatic.
- In 82% of negative customer service stories employees were perceived as not caring – Source: The Science of WOW Customer Service, The Belding Group 2015
What This Means: Training is critical. Performance measurement needs to shift from “effect metrics” – e.g. NPS, CES and CSAT, to include more “cause metrics” – e.g. Mystery Shopping, Knowledge testing, Skills Drill Evaluations, etc.
Why Should A Company Care About Customer Experience
- 76% of consumers say they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. – Source: 2015 Aspect Consumer Experience Survey
- 60% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service now than they did just one year ago. – Source: 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report
- 97% of global consumers say that customer service is very important or somewhat important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand. Source: 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report
- 88% of people have been influenced by online reviews while making their purchase decisions. – Source: Zendesk
- 79% of high-income people, 51% of B2B clients, and 54% of Gen Xers will avoid your company for two years or more following one bad customer experience. – Source: Zendesk