Customer Service Lessons Many Businesses Are Simply Not Learning!


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1 in 5 consumers switched suppliers in 2012 and 85% of them said their loyalty could have been retained if the company had acted faster on dealing with the problem or query. That’s just one of the enlightening statistics from a new report from Accenture. Well, I say ‘enlightening’…. the reality is that it’s ‘obvious stuff’, but lots of businesss clearly still don’t ‘get it’! They’re not learning any lessons!

The 2012 Global Consumer Pulse Research Report highlights…..

  • 69% would have stayed if their problem had been resolved first time, not lots of times.
  • 54% might have remained loyal if they had been rewarded for doing business with their supplier

The ‘lesson’ that they are not learning is that it’s the simple stuff that customers want! For example the report says that the biggest frustrations that make customers more likely to switch after a ‘problem’ include (surprise surprise!):

  • Having to contact customer service lots of times for the same reason (mentioned by 65% of customers)
  • Dealing with unfriendly customer service agents (65%)
  • Being kept on hold (61%)

When asked what they do want from businesses to prevent them from moving away, 80% of customers said it was (wait for it…..!!!) skilled and polite customer service staff followed by sorting out problems quickly in line with expectations (It’s not really ‘rocket science’ is it, but lots haven’t learnt – take Travelodge for example!)

Many customers accept that things go wrong and it’s the businesses that ‘Deal With Disappointment’ effectively that maintain customer loyalty (an ingredient of 3D Characteristic #3 Create Delighted And Devoted Customers!). They spot and solve problems, and crucially encourage, enable and empower their people to do this!

But they do more than this…. 3D Characteristic #4 is ‘Forget CRM, Think MCR! Maximise Customer Relationships and that means proactively developing relationships that give the best to and get the best from the customers that you want.

The Accenture report reinforces this and highlights the key ingredients of creating stronger customer relationships from a customer perspective and it revealed:

  • 48% of customers say that compared to 12 months ago, they have higher expectations of getting specialised treatment for being a ‘good’ customer
  • 50% say it is extremely important that customer service people know their history so they don’t have to repeat themselves each time they call
  • 31% prefer companies that use information about them to make their experience more efficient from one step to the next, although only 24% said that they receive ‘tailored’ experiences

Again, it’s about equipping people with the skills and the support to make this happen.

So, what does this mean for your business? Why not spend some time ‘examining’ how you measure up when it comes to these things – Are you and your business learning these lessons in your approach to…

  • Being ‘easy to do business with’…
  • Dealing with Disappointment…
  • Maximising relationships with your customers…

So, are you ‘top of the class’ or are you a ‘dunce’? Go on, get ‘revising’ and find out!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Andy Hanselman
Hi there! I help businesses and their people create competitive advantage by 'Thinking in 3D'! That means being 'Dramatically and Demonstrably Different'! I research, speak about, write about and work with businesses to help them maximise their sales and marketing, their customer service and their customer relationships.


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