Wednesday, August 12, 2009

How much more would you pay for great customer service?

According to Strativity Group’s August 2009 research, customers will remain loyal when you exceed their expectations. Here are the highlights from their study –

1. More than 70% of customers are willing to spend 10% more with a business if that business exceeds expectations

2. Loyal customers are almost 3 times as likely to continue doing business with a company for another 10 years than a dissatisfied one

3. 52% of dissatisfied customers expect discounts of 5% or more to continue doing business with the offending organization. Loyal customers expect none.

I am not one bit surprised by these results. I am willing to pay more and will be loyal when you deliver a great experience. What is the lesson from this latest research?

- Don’t take the customer for granted. Mediocre and average service is the norm. It cost too much to attract one, don’t screw it up by offering a normal experience.

- Sit down and talk about how to exceed expectations. Make this a regular conversation at team meetings. Design experiences that matter and will keep your customers returning.

- Hire people who can think this way. Train people to exceed expectations.

- Check your systems and processes that are interfering with your employee’s efforts. Take the customer view of your processes to see the roadblocks. Our good intentions can not be demonstrated until we get brutal with eliminating the roadblocks.

Great customer service is not costly. Research continues to show customers want it enough to pay 10% more. Keep in mind you are only as good as your last interaction.

Loyalty is the only measure of your success. Now is the time to be really great.

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