Excellent Customer Service Drives Business Growth

Bob Sullivan By Bob Sullivan
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A recent article posted on Think Customers: The 1to1 Blog, titled Good Service is Good Business, by Ginger Conlon, begins with the statement, “Customers are willing to spend more with businesses that deliver quality customer service.”

Her article points to the results of the 2011 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer. This is an annual survey by American Express conducted to discover customer attitudes and preferences toward customer service practices.

So, how important is great customer service to your consumers? And, just how important is it to you?

According to the survey conclusions, quality customer service is not only important.  It is vital for survival and growth!  Understand why, by reviewing some highlights of the survey results.

   – 70% of Americans are willing to spend 13% more, on average, with
   companies that provide outstanding customer service.

   – The above stats are a great increase from 2010, just a year ago,
   when just 58% of Americans would spend about 9% more with
   companies offering superior service.

   – Nearly 60% of Americans say they would try a new brand to get
   better service.

   – Consumers’ desire for outstanding service isn’t being met:        

  • 20% of American respondents feel their business is taken for granted

  • 60% say that companies aren’t focusing on providing great customer service (an increase of 5% over 2010).  And, a quarter of those respondents feel that businesses are paying less attention to service delivery.    

   – Nearly 80% of American respondents decided against an intended
   purchase due to poor service.

   – American respondents surveyed tell about 16 people, on average, 
   when they have a poor customer experience, but tell only about 9%
   when the experience is a good one.

   – More than half of the survey respondents have lost their temper with
   a customer service rep as a result of bad service.

   – Nearly 40% of respondents whose service experience was bad enough
   to make them angry threatened to switch to the competition.

There is a notable bright spot.  Small businesses.  Four in five Americans (81%) agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses.

Now, just only consider the first survey stat – 70% of Americans surveyed are willing to spend, on average, 13% more with companies that provide outstanding customer service.  How many dollars could that add to your bottom line?

Mr. Jim Bush, Executive Vice President of World Service at American Express, says “There are many who subscribe to the convention that service is a business cost, but our data demonstrates that superior service is an investment that can help drive business growth.”

In addition, he states that “Getting service right is more than just a nice to do; it’s a must do.”

Amen!  Just what we pointed out last year in our post, Great Customer Service: Not Just Nice to Have – It’s a Must Have which included another great article from Think Customers: The 1to1 Blog at http://www.1to1media.com/weblog.

So, as this post begins with and confirms the importance of superior customer service, I will end with this thought.  Great customer service is the prelude to long-term customer loyalty.  After all is said and done, companies cannot expect customer loyalty without providing great customer service.  And, isn’t that what success is all about?  Keeping and growing as many customers as you can! 

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About Bob Sullivan
Bob Sullivan is President of InfoGrow Corporation, a national sales & marketing consultant and applications provider that enables clients to leverage information and technology for increased sales & marketing effectiveness.

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