As it pertains to customer service, and ultimately customer loyalty, a recent study conducted by the consulting firm Accenture reveals some very important information that we should consider.

 

While the study focuses on high-tech companies and the numbers may not necessarily correlate with your specific business, the general concept of the study surely does.  The study polled executives from high-tech companies and 1,200 of their customers and found there was a major discrepancy between what the two groups considered to be quality customer service.

 

More than half of the executives believed their companies customer service to be among the best in their industry.  Furthermore, they believed that their customer satisfaction levels to be above average.  The reality was that more than half the customers said they are receiving average to below average service that is actually getting worse, not better.

 

According to the study, an extremely high customer service rating can result in a 300% increase in loyalty.  According to Brett Anderson at Accenture, “If they (the company) provide just even good service, they lose 50% of their customers; with average service they lose 73% of their customers.  As we know, the cost of acquiring new customers is very steep.”

 

TheVanderbiltUniversitystudy I’ve quoted over the years said that up to 40% of “satisfied” customers will leave to go to a competitor, even though they are just satisfied.  Bain and Company’s surveys indicated that to be as high as 80% in certain business.

 

The numbers are scary, and they don’t lie.  While the numbers may not pertain to your specific business, the concept does.  And, don’t think you really know how your customers feel about you until you ask them.  It’s the only way to know for sure.

 

I continue to preach, and it can’t be said enough, that there is a big difference between satisfied customers and loyal customers.

 

Shep Hyken, CSP, CPAE is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations.  As a professional speaker and author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.  For more information on Shep’s speaking programs and books, please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com  Web: www.hyken.com. For information on customer service training, go to www.TheCustomerFocus.com.

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