customer service facts

8 Counter-Intuitive Customer Service Facts to Change the Way You Think

Miruna MitranescuLast updated on October 20, 2023
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Do you think you possess all required knowledge to deliver exemplary customer service? You’d be surprised. These customer service facts might not be what you’d expect.

Most business start and end with customer service, their success depends on how effective their teams are.

Good customer service is not good enough, it needs to be great. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of 8 counter-intuitive customer service facts that will change the way you think about customer service, and ultimately the way you do business.

8 counter intuitive facts on customer service

Here are the top 8 counter-intuitive customer service facts.

Customer service facts #1: The customer is always right, but…

One of the most famous catch-phrases regarding a customer service is that the customer is always right.

Well, it wouldn’t be productive for your company if your agents are lead by that saying. Harry Gordon Selfridge coined this phrase in 1909 and he did it to convince customers that they’ll always get what they deserve as well as to train employees to respect every customer’s desire. However, practice has proved different.

First of all, some customers are simply wrong. Plain wrong. Your business may even be better without them.

Second, your customer service will actually be worse if you force your employees to respect this phrase and treat every customer like they are right.

Why? Well, there are abrasive, rude customers who have also heard how the customer should always be right and they will try to abuse it as much as possible. Your employees would be at a disadvantage from start which makes it harder to actually work on the problem and results in either bad customer service or an unhappy employee. You don’t want either of that.

The employee must always come first so they could provide better results. If you create an atmosphere where an agent is afraid of losing a job if the customer is unhappy, it is only natural that they cannot give their 100% in making a customer happy.

To conclude, respect your employees and make them happy so they could provide better results, have more energy and stay motivated to do their job right.

Customer service facts #2: Price is not the problem, poor customer service is

According to Accenture global customer satisfaction report from 2008, the main reason for customer churn is the poor customer service, not the price of a sold product.

A customer is four times more likely to abandon a company and buy a competitor’s product if the problem lies within customer service than if the product or the cost is the problem.

More importantly, a both satisfied and unhappy clients will share their experience with at least several people around them. But the unhappy customers will tell an average 3 more people about their bad experience than the happy ones.

Customer service facts #3: Deliver g****ood news or bad news first?

You’ve probably been asked whether you prefer good news or the bad news first. Do you think it doesn’t matter what goes first? If you do, you’re wrong.

A research conducted at the University of California shown that it does matter what goes first. You probably want your customer to be satisfied and happy after a conversation with an agent from your customer service, thus, the bad news is what they should hear first. Ending a conversation with a good news will make customers feel more satisfied and relieved.

In cases where you need a customer to act, starting the conversation with the good news and leaving the bad news for the end will provide the desired result.

Of course, the ideal situation is when there are no bad news, but you it is not always possible for everyone to be completely satisfied, sometimes, there has to be a bad news – pay attention on how you serve it to the client.

Customer service facts #4: Empathy versus Speed

Yes, the speed of the services your agents will provide to your customers is essential. However, it’s not always worth to race for the record time. Common courtesy, understanding the situation the customer is in, a willingness to help and a friendly tone rank way higher than the speed of the service.

Try training your teammates to on empathy instead of speed, surveys have shown that customers are more likely to be fully engaged if they feel these virtues in a rep.

Don’t forget about the waiting time. Every customer’s worst nightmare when trying to contact a company is waiting for the representative to become available.

Hiring some extra agents will actually turn out to be more profitable as they will be able to focus on a customer without racing for the next call and the customer will have to wait less for the rep to pick up the phone.
Drop the tension and pressure to the lowest level and you’ll see an increased happiness and satisfaction in customers which leads to growth in sales.

Customer service facts #5: Less work, more delight

Reduced effort of a customer equals client’s loyalty. It is simple as that. In survey with more than 75 thousand customers involved, the results showed that the most important factor in increasing and maintaining client’s loyalty was by far the amount of work a customer needs to do to have a solution to their problem.

It is not a rare scenario where customer is required to fill out a form, send an e-mail or a letter, or call another number to get their problem solved. None likes that. It requires more effort, it increases stress and annoyance by your company. You don’t want that.

To delight a customer, you need to treat them as lazy people who expect everything served on a plate, while, of course, keeping a friendly and helpful tone.

More and more companies are implementing the “Ask Once” promise, which implies that the first company’s representative a customer gets in touch with will be the only one as they’ve trained them to solve a problem absolutely on their own.

Customer service facts #6: Unhappy customers talk

The results from dozens of researches, studies and surveys have shown that customer’s experience with the company is not going to remain only between them. An average customer will tell 9-15 people about their bad or great experience with the company, while over 20% will tell to more than 20 people. Now multiply that with ten, a hundred, or whatever is the number of unhappy customers you’ve dealt with during the past month. Not a small number, right?

Now, you know that you need a happy customer that is loyal to your brand. Did you know that it costs 6 times more to get a new customer than to keep the one you already have? Think about it, do the math and work on the problem, if there is one.

Customer service facts #7: Get in touch

While customers do talk with their closest friends and family, they do not always complain to a company. For every client contacting your customer service, there are 26, yes – twenty-six, unhappy customers who remain silent. That may become a huge problem. Like kings needed to pay attention to the people to prevent a rebellion, you have to pay attention and try to make your customers happy to prevent them from turning their backs on you.

Also, while positive experiences do matter, one does not solve a problem. It usually takes more than ten positive experiences with a company to make up for one unresolved problem a customer had.

Try getting in touch with your clients, customer service does not always have to wait for a client to call. Surveys, random gifts, promotions and personal touch are the best ways to increase the amount of happy customers.

An average customer has very high expectations, and your company’s job is to try their best to live up to those expectations.

Everyone wants a professional, friendly customer service with amazing problem-solving skills. 55% of the customers are ready to pay more for a better customer experience.

Customer service facts #8: Don’t forget about social media

expected-response-times social media
While traditional customer service over the phone is still the most suitable one, social media are rapidly taking their positions in the world of customer support.

At the moment, the situation is critically bad. Only 23% of the companies are offering customer service on Facebook, and almost half of the online customers expect a company to provide support and customer service on, you’ve guessed right, Facebook.

What’s even worse is that some companies do offer customer service on social media but ignore to answer the complaints. Over 70% complaints on Twitter are completely ignored by the companies which leaves a customer with horrible experience. Only 12% of potential customers will buy from a company that did not answer their complaint on social media. Keep that information in mind. Always.

Theoretically, an excellent customer service needs to show willingness to help, perfect knowledge and skills, empathy and to have decent speed of delivery.

Practice has shown that not everything is black and white. Every customer is unique and should be treated that way.
A loyal base of customers makes most of the company’s profit, and a great customer service makes a happy customer. It’s that simple, yet, so complicated.

Published on July 1, 2016.

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