Brand Ambassadors or Enemies for Life?
Raise your hands if you’ve experienced any of the following:
- When asked about a product in a large chain store, an employee shrugs and says, “I don’t work in that area,” or “This is my first week on the job and I’m still learning.”
- You dial a call-in center and wait as precious minutes of your life pass by in an infinite loop of “Flight of the Bumblebee” interrupted at regular intervals by “We’ll be right with you” voicemail recordings.
- While you wait to pay for an item, the cashier answers a telephone and begins a 10-minute conversation (personal or work-related, doesn’t matter) with someone other than you, a paying customer.
A 2012 Accenture Global Consumer Survey garnered online responses about customer service from more than 12,000 customers in 32 countries. The results offered further proof of widespread consumer dissatisfaction with providers in ten different industries, including travel and tourism, consumer goods retailers, consumer electronics, cable/satellite companies and wireless phone companies:
- One out of five consumers switched providers in 2012.
- Most of the consumers surveyed (85 percent) said they might not have switched if their service provider had done something differently.
- Among those who say they would have stayed, 67 percent described a customer service issue during their first contact as a deciding factor.
As if that isn’t bad enough from a business perspective, Peter Coffee, a vice president at Salesforce.com featured in Fast Company, points out this little tidbit, “The typical customer tells an average of 16 other people about a poor service experience, but only tells nine about the good ones.”