Once you’ve got a customer service strategy in place, it’s tempting to stick with it, even when it’s not bringing the results you’d hoped for. Strategizing takes time, research, and a thorough analysis of past results. But some recent small business customer service statistics we’ve compiled may be enough to change your mind and inspire you to make the strategic changes you’ve been considering.
These small business customer service statistics are not just abstract numbers or distant academic theories with no real-world applications. They’re direct results of research and case studies done by analyzing small and medium businesses just like yours.
These important customer service statistics carry big implications and deserve your full attention as a business owner.
45 Important Small Business Customer Service Statistics
If you’re a business owner, you really can’t afford to ignore these small business customer service statistics in your strategy.
- 80% of Americans believe smaller companies place more emphasis on customer service than their larger counterparts.
- 67% of customers say they hung up out of frustration in the last year when they couldn’t talk to a real person after calling customer service.
- 3 out of 5 Americans say they’d try a new brand or company if it meant a better customer service experience.
- 80% of companies believe they deliver “superior” customer service…
- …but only 8% of their customers said they agreed. Discrepancy!
- 75% of customers say “It takes too long to reach a live agent” when calling customer service.
- 78% of consumers have decided against a purchase because of a poor service experience.
- That dissatisfaction doesn’t fade, either – 91% of unhappy customers say they won’t willingly shop at the offending business again.
- But 70% of the time, if you can fix the problem or resolve a complaint in the customer’s favor, they will do business with you again.
- You don’t always know when customers aren’t digging your business. For every customer who actually complains, 26 other customers decide to keep their complaints to themselves.
- That’s good news for small business owners, because it’s 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one.
- It’s not only more expensive to acquire new customers, but you’ve only got a 5-20% probability of selling to a new prospect…
- …while you have a 60-70% probability of selling to an existing customer. That’s an undeniable reason to focus on creating loyalty.
- 78% of customers say ‘COMPETENT SERVICE REPS’ create happy customer experiences…
- While 38% of customers say ‘PERSONALIZATION’ is what creates a happy customer experience.
- 86% of consumers are willing to pay more for an upgraded experience – think flying first class or sedation dentistry.
- Almost 9/10 consumers would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience.
- On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times the dollar amount of their first purchase.
- Small business employees only ask for the customer’s name 21% of the time during a customer service interaction…
- …but 86% of customers said they enjoy when business employees refer to them by name.
- Two reasons for customer loss: #1 – Customers feel poorly treated during customer service interactions…
- And reason for customer loss #2 – Customer service rep fails to solve a customer’s problem in a timely manner.
- 70% of buying experiences are based solely on how the customer feels they are being treated.
- 58% of Americans conduct online research about the products and services that they are thinking about purchasing.
- 42% of online shoppers said they contacted a retailer about an online purchase in the last 6 months.
- Customer experience quality could affect profits by more than $184 million for a large internet retailer.
- 70% of companies that deliver “Best in Class” customer experience use customer feedback vs. the
industry average of 50% that use customer feedback.
- Americans, on average, tell 9 people about good customer service experiences, but…
- Americans tell an average of 16 people (nearly 2X more) about bad customer service experiences.
- Friendly customer service reps succeed at upselling 42% more often than reps customers rated as unfriendly or neutral.
- 55% of customer requests for service on social media are never acknowledged by the company.
- 84% of social media customer service interactions are continued and carried over to other channels.
- 72% of customer service interactions that are initiated on Facebook are never completed.
- 78% of customers say they expect to be able to find the correct answer for their problem by using self-service means.
- 41% of consumers expect a customer service email response from a company within six hours…
- …but only 36% of companies actually responded to customer service emails that quickly.
- Another study found that consumers said 24 hours is widely considered an ‘acceptable email response time.’
- 81% of companies identified as delivering customer experience ‘excellence’ are outperforming their competition.
- According to the Temkin Survey, customers believe retailers deliver the best experience…
- …while customers say TV service providers & health plans deliver the worst.
- Customers requested “Better Human Service” more than any other customer service improvement.
- According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time.
- 51% of customers said emailing a small business about customer service got zero response…
- 21% said the email customer service they received was good…
- 13% called it fair customer service; 14% said it was poor; and 1% said the response they received from the small business was completely unrelated to the question they posed.
Small Business Customer Service Statistics Sources
- American Express OPEN Survey, 2016
- Bruce Temkin, Temkin Experience Ratings, 2011
- Customer Experience Impact Report by Harris Interactive/RightNow, 2010
- “The Cost of Poor Customer Service” by Genesys Global Survey, 2009
- “Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses” by BenchmarkPortal, 2005
- MSN Money/Zogby International Survey 2015
- Peppers & Rogers Group, Customer Experience Maturity Monitor, 2014
- White House Office of Consumer Affairs