SURVEY RESULT: 86 percent of U.S. adults will pay more for a better customer experience. So why do companies continue to cut customer service costs and increase spending on marketing?
Customer service is a hard job. I’ve previously discussed how customer service is harder than programming, but there’s something even harder than the work customer service people do day-to-day. Helping individuals and professionals see the value in their customer service people is even harder.
Stop Undervaluing Customer Service
RightNow Technologies conducts an annual Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, which shows the value of exceptional customer experiences and the value of great customer service for organizations. Here are some of the eye-opening customer service findings:
86% – The number of U.S. adults who will pay more for a better customer experience.
89% – The number of U.S. adults who switched to a competitor because they had a bad customer experience.
73% – The number of U.S. adults who said a friendly customer service made them fall in love with a brand.
There are too many organizations who are missing the opportunity to get the full benefits from customers service. John Kemp, Director of CRL Solutions, discusses how badly undervalued customer service is today.
Unfortunately Customer Service departments are often under resourced and under valued in the corporate hierarchy. They are perceived as a necessary evil of modern commercial life rather than an opportunity to get closer to customers; an unwelcome cost centre to be contained rather than adding value to corporate performance.
Customer service too often is just an entry-level job. It’s not job that you can just hire anyone off the street to come in, answer phones, and expect to get great customer service results. Great customer service, like being personable, likable, and being a good public speaker, is a talent and skill that needs to be learned, developed, and practiced. Real customer service is more than answering phones. Hiring just anyone to fill customer service positions is like just hiring any kid who can code to be your company’s programmer. The question becomes, are you REALLY getting value? Or are you just getting someone who can do some basic procedural tasks.
A quick reminder…
86 percent of U.S. adults will pay more for a better customer experience.
RightNow CEO Greg Gianforte said,
“To thrive in today’s consumer-empowered environment, brands need to deliver the very best possible customer experiences when, where, and how consumers want it.”
Just because your CS college student can code, doesn’t mean that you’re going to get the very best developer. Just because a business student has taken business classes, doesn’t mean you’re going to get the best business decisions. Just because someone can answer phones or talk to customers, doesn’t mean that you’re going to get great customer service.
Customer Service is a Professional Skill
Yes, it can fit the role of an entry-level position. But to organizations, that entry-level position means the world, even though it may not be recognized for it. When systems break, products fail, services fall short of customer expectation, it’s not the programmers phone that starts ringing. It’s customer service.
Successful organizations realize that each member of the team is a contributor to the overall success of the organization. Time, effort, energy is spent in hiring for sales, marketing, IT, and programming, why not customer service? 86 percent of U.S. adults will pay more for a better customer experience are you working on bringing in the very best people to make sure the experience you create for your customers is the very best?