Exceptional customer service experience creates loyal customers.

Customer service has the power to impact a company’s top and bottom lines, as studies show.

According to the Customer Experience Report, a Harris Interactive study sponsored by RightNow Technologies, customer experience is playing a significant role in determining where consumers choose to shop and how much they are willing to spend.

85% of participating consumers said they would be willing to pay more over the standard price of a good or service to ensure a superior customer experience.

Of those consumers that said they would pay more for an excellent customer experience:

  • 55% would pay 10% or more
  • 27% would pay 15% or more
  • 10% would pay 25% or more

In 2009 Cyber Monday alone generated $887 million in revenue for e-retailers.

Based on the results of this study the industry could have generated an additional $87 million in revenue in just one day by providing superior customer experience.

This research shows that a great customer service experience significantly impacts purchasing decisions:

  • 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with an organization as a result of negative experience.
  • 75% do not return to doing business with an organization because of negative customer experience.
  • 55% of consumers became customers of a company based on its reputation for great customer service.
  • 40% of consumers have switched to a competitive brand simply because of its reputation for exceptional customer service

The Power of Word of Mouth

Consumers not only voice their customer experience preferences with their own wallets.

They also influence their peers.

According to the 2010 Customer Experience Report, customer advocacy should be a key focus for businesses because:

  • Customer service is still the number one reason consumers recommend an organization, more than products or price
  • Word of mouth is the number one influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions (76%),
  • Customer reviews and online feedback came at 49 percent as influencing consumers’ purchasing decisions
  • 79% of consumers that have had a negative experience with an organization told others about it,
  • 97%  of consumers with negative customer service experience shared their experience via word of mouth
  • 85% wanted to warn others about the pitfalls of doing business with that company
  • 66% wanted to discourage others from buying from that company

What makes a great customer service experience?

The 2010 report outlines why consumers stop doing business with a company:

  • Rude staff (73%)
  • Issues weren’t resolved quickly (55%)
  • Unknowledgeable staff (51%)

US Companies leading in customer service in 2011

In a survey of 9,291 shoppers, Zappos.com took top honors in the sixth annual NRF Foundation / American Express Customers’ Choice survey. Consumer marketing intelligence firm BIGresearch conducted the survey in September 2010.

Consumers answered the question: “Thinking of all the different retail formats (store, catalog, internet, or home shopping), which retailer delivers the best customer service?

In order to develop a fair comparison, regardless of a retailer’s size or geographic coverage, the consumer survey responses were compared to each retailer’s 2009 revenues to develop the overall rankings.

Hands down, Zappos won the Best Customer Service crown!

Zappos won the Best Customer Service race! Photo credit Flickr / Coleen

  1. Zappos
  2. Amazon
  3. LL Bean
  4. Overstock.com
  5. Lands’ End
  6. JC Penney
  7. Kohl’s
  8. QVC
  9. Nordstrom
  10. Newegg
  11. Cabela’s
  12. Sears
  13. Best Buy
  14. Avon
  15. ACE Hardware
  16. HSN
  17. IKEA
  18. T Mobile
  19. Macy‘s
  20. Victoria’s Secret


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