While statistics only tell part of the story, they tell a pretty accurate part. Here are ten statistics you can act on within your customer service organization that demonstrate the true value of customer service.
1. Expectations for customer service are increasing
54 percent of customers have higher expectations for customer service today than they did even just one year ago. This percentage jumps to 66% for consumers aged from 18 to 34 years old. (Microsoft)
But whether millennials are the most represented customer demographic or not, the pressure is on for businesses to step up the value of their customer service.
2. Customer service is a critical factor in purchase decision-making
64 percent of consumers believe that customer service is more important than price when it comes to deciding which brand to go with. (Gartner)
Customer service is such a core element of consumer choice that no organization can afford to gloss it over in favor of keeping costs down.
3. People increasingly prefer to engage digitally
Consumers now expect customer service organizations to respond to social-media requests immediately and would rather engage digitally than pick up the phone. (Edelman) For Americans under 50, texting is the dominant way of communicating. (Gallup)
If your customer service organization still primarily functions using a phone IVR system, you’re not speaking to a modern audience. Today’s consumers demand options to contact companies by typing, not talking — and preferably in a familiar messaging format.
4. Chatbots are poised to save businesses loads of money as they elevate customer experience
Chatbot technology will deliver $8B in cost savings by 2022, and chatbots have the potential to eventually replace many human customer service tasks with AI programs “sophisticated enough to hold fluent conversations with human users.” (Juniper Research)
For this reason, chatbots are adding increasing value to customer service organizations today.
5. Customer experience is the new “battlefield”
Gartner predicts that 89 percent of businesses are expected to compete mainly on customer experience. It’s a top area for marketing technology investment that leads innovation spending. “As competition and buyer empowerment compounds, customer experience itself is proving to be the only truly durable competitive advantage.” (Gartner)
Customer service organizations are now at the center of business development and are critical to brand health. For this reason, most organizations are keenly interested in improving their customer service.
6. Customer service is not a 9-5 Job
It’s not just that your customers are all over the place. Even if they’re local, they don’t abide by “business hours” when it comes to expectations of service. Fifty-seven percent of customers think a brand’s customer service response time should be the same on weekends as on weekdays. (Edelman)
Automation is stepping in to fill the gaps so companies don’t have to keep their customer service staff on hand around the clock.
7. Customer service is getting even more personal
“Personal attention” has always been the aspiration of customer service. But today, personalization has taken on a whole new hue, with targeting ingrained in our everyday lives. 53 percent of customers expect responses to be personalized — tailored to their explicit needs and issues. (Edelman)
The best way to achieve accurate personalization is with artificial intelligence (AI), which is why AI is now integrated into some customer service technologies. AI is adding exponential value to customer service organizations as it helps keep costs down.
8. Poor customer service has a quantifiable cost
According to Accenture, the business cost of poor customer experience can reach $1.6 trillion in the U.S. alone. Companies pay heavily for their subpar customer service when consumers switch allegiance to a different brand or service. (Salesforce)
9. The actual value of customer service is measurable
On the other hand, “CEOs and companies who demonstrate a continuous pursuit of excellence in customer experience reap not only long-term customer loyalty, but also positively impact revenue growth.” (Chief Outsiders)
Research backed by data shows that improving customer experience is directly linked to business outcomes such as higher revenue growth and lower costs. In fact, McKinsey found that on average, brands that improve their customer service experience will increase revenue by 10 to 15 percent and lower costs by 15 to 20 percent. (Chief Outsiders)
10. The expectation of instant social response is your cross to bear — and your secret weapon
53 percent of all customers now expect a response to a social-media complaint or query within an hour. (Edelman)
If you’re not on top of all your customer service channels, you’re unwittingly creating huge risks and lowering the value of your customer service.
The true value of customer service
To compete amidst such high expectations, your customer service must be highly accessible to consumers and be able to scale rapidly. It’s time to assess the processes and tools you’re using to manage your customer service organization.
This is where having ‘Connected Customer Conversations’ become valuable. Helpshift’s platform is a fresh approach to customer service that connects messaging, phone, email, self-service, bots and AI. By building mobile-native experiences and introducing AI into your customer service strategy, Helpshift allows you to streamline the customer experience.
Want to learn more?
- Customer Service Glossary Article: What is First Response Time?
- Blog Post: Make Your Support Channels More Personalized Through Customer Experience Automation
- Additional Product Information: Helpshift for Digital Customer Service