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Customer Service Stats Prove Why Everyone Must Deliver Excellent Customer Service

Customer Service Stats Prove Why Everyone
Must Deliver Excellent Customer Service
... by Shep Hyken


Some might find statistics to be boring.  Yet sometimes they tell a story, one that is so compelling, that everyone in an organization, from the CEO to the newest employee,must embrace.  And, I believe that is the case with the following customer service statistics.  Here are some of the latest stats and facts:


According to the latest (May 2011)
American Express Global Customer Service barometer…


1. Stat: In a positive economy, 70% of Americans are willing to spend an average of 13% more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service – up from 9% last year.  My comment: Price is important, but becomes less important.  While you have to remain somewhat competitive, you potentially have extra margin to work with.  Delivering on customer expectations positively affects the bottom line.


2. Stat: 60% believe businesses have not increased their focus on providing good customer service.  That number is up from 55% last year.  Among this group 26% actually think companies are paying less attention to service.  My comment: This is your opportunity to pull ahead of your competition.  Use customer service as a differentiator. Make sure your customer knows what they are getting.  Educate them to understand why they should be doing business with you.


3. Stat: 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor customer service.  My comment: Bad customer service can kill a company.  Everyone must be on board and aligned.  The customer must experience a consistent level of service from anyone he/she deals with. 


4. Stat: 59% will try a new brand or company for a better service experience.  My comment: If you spin this as a positive statistic, then this is your chance to get business from your competition.  If the above statistics are true, then there is good chance that some of your competitors may not be at the top of the customer service game.  If that is the case, this is your opportunity!


There are many more statistics from this study (and others) that I can share.  Here’s my point.  These stats tell a story.  It is social proof and we must share the fact and the meaning behind them with everyone we work with.  They must understand the impact of customer service.  Once they understand the “why,” you can start to focus on the “how to.”  (There are more than 100 articles on my website that are focused on the “how to” of customer service.)  


Suggestion: Take these stats and share them, one at a time, perhaps once a week, with your colleagues and employees.  These stats prove there is opportunity.  Have a discussion around them and come up with strategies to exploit them.   

I’ll conclude with a quote from Jim Bush, Executive Vice President, World Service at American Express, who says:    

“Getting service right is more than just a nice to do; it’s a must do.  American consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service… Ultimately, great service can drive sales and customer loyalty.”


-- Past articles from the Shepard Letter and other 
information about Shep Hyken is available by visiting

Views: 42

Comment by Dan Norris on May 12, 2011 at 4:37pm

Many of the jobs that are being created are in the service sector, where present and future sales depend far more on a fierce focus on the customer - so expect a lot of questions centered around customer service during your job interview.

Read More

Comment by Sue Copening on June 18, 2011 at 9:06am

Excellent point Dan.   And I read a great article recently on important questions to ask in an interview.  So be prepared to....


Explain an error or mistake you have made in the past and how you handled the situation.  Interviewers are looking for people who take responsibility for their mistakes and don't try to pass the buck.  


What has been the most difficult situation you have encountered with a customer (or fellow employee), and how did you handle it?


Have you ever lied to an employer?  Be honest here, everyone lies.   What they are looking for is... are you a "yes man" or do you have what it takes to point out something negative to a higher up - for the good of the company.  For instance, you might have lied to your boss and told them you like the new decor of the office when you actually think it is hideous (white lie).  But when it comes to a mistake the company is making that can affect their bottom line... will you give them your honest opinion, even if it means "rocking the boat?"


AND... after the interview... FOLLOW UP.  When I was in management and hired salespeople, I narrowed the applicants down to my top 5 or 6.  I then let those applications sit next to the phone and employees wrote on a sticky note (on the app), whenever those applicants followed up, and how they did it (phone, in person, etc).  I then hired the one that follow up the most, or the most creatively.  Once in a while it ended up being someone not in my 'top 5" but further down the list.  But generally speaking I wanted someone who REALLY wanted to work for us, over someone that was just "settling."  If the desire was there, I could teach the skills required.  One gal got the job because she found out we were doing inventory and starting really early on a Sunday morning to do it.  She showed up and brought us donuts and bagels and offered to help us for free, for the (learning experience).  How could I turn her down after that?


When I was younger and wanted a new job.  I would RESEARCH the places I thought I wanted to work, and go apply there whether they were hiring or not.  I'd ask to come in and interview... just so that they knew who I was when something opened up.  Smart employers know it's a good idea to have several "ready" candidates on the back burner, so they are open to this.  Advantage to the applicant is... if they like you, you will get first crack at the job, because it saves them the cost of advertising and interviewing (lots of management hours are wasted in this process).  This gives you a BIG edge as they really want to hire someone before they have to go though all that.   The RESEARCH comes in really handy as the more you can demonstrate that you know about the company, the products, etc., the more you will impress them with your DESIRE to work for their organization.  This is flattering to them.  TIP:  Make part of your research calling into the company bookkeeping department, customer service dept, etc., and just "chatting" with whomever you get on the phone.  Ask them how they like working there, how long they have been there, etc.  If you "interview" 3-4 people you will get a better feel for the company, and may even decide you DON'T want to apply there after all.


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