Improving the customer experience (CX) is a common mantra that we don’t expect to go anywhere soon. Implementing a plan to make CX gains is a lot easier said than done, and the initial effort can often lead to companies abandoning or shrinking plans. Ultimately, not following through on those lofty goals could limit your potential revenue boosts and cause disruptions to service that you provide.
Let’s take a minute to put some context and hard data behind customer experiences and why improving the support you provide is generally a win for you and your clients.
Whether you’re in the B2B or B2C space, our roundup of leading research and statistics should give you all the confidence you need around spending to build up that CX. Plus, we’ll also show you how live support (with a little help from video) delivers a compelling customer experience that can be directly tied to increased revenue.
The Good: An enjoyable experience keeps customers interested
Every marketing guru will tell you that customers who like you want to do more business with you. It gets repeated often because, thankfully, it’s true. We are backing this up, so we dug into the latest research and found some of the most compelling statistics that come directly from customers.
Here are the highlights of a great customer experience and service model:
- The better the CX, the happier the customers are. Those reporting the “best” experience will spend 2.4 times more annually than those reporting the “worst.”
- 62% of B2B customers buy more and follow a company more after a positive experience
- 42% of B2C customers will make an additional purchase after a good experience
- Customers satisfied with CX are more likely to take upsell and cross-sell offers, which can account for up to 30% of eCommerce revenues.
- Satisfied customers are more likely to become loyal buyers, with a customer lifetime value 10x higher than the amount they initially spend
- Companies like Sprint report that happy customers require up to 33% less in service costs
- And finally, nearly half of customers say that they would pay more for your existing offer if it came with better customer service.
The heart of those studies and many, many more available remind us that people view buying as part of a relationship. People want to be fulfilled and listened to, making customer service a vital part of your sales. If your relationship partner is unhappy, you’ll definitely feel it in your budget documents. To get a better handle on that, let’s move on to what the data says happens when things go wrong.
The Bad: Poor experiences send customers packing
One of the most significant risks to your business is when customers are unhappy, because they not only tend to stop buying from you, they also tell other potential clients how upset they are. It can tank your reputation and force you to spend a lot of on customer acquisition when you could instead focus on cross-selling and up-sells to happy customers.
Here are a few of the most notable stats we’ve come across to put a poor CX in perspective from a customer service standpoint.
- 66% of B2B customers and 52% of B2C customers have stopped buying from a company following a bad service interaction.
- In general, 46% of customers stop buying from a company for two or more years following inadequate customer service
- More than half of people have switched to a direct competitor after a bad experience
- 68% of customers say they will never return after switching providers
- 27% say not being able to contact customer service on a preferred channel yields lousy customer experiences and drastically reduces the likelihood of a repeat sale
- Poor service will lead 52% of shoppers to tell others not to buy from you
All of these boil down to the fact that a poor CX can do lasting damage to your reputation and sales. One of the best tools you have to mitigate these risks is a high-quality customer service team. When you rely on professionals who can meet customer demands and defuse situations, you protect your bottom line. Let’s keep going to see what the data means around service.
The Profitable: Live service builds revenue through retention
Now, we’ll take a quick look at some of the importance of support in terms of customer decisions and where you can make the shift from customer loss to higher revenues. Perhaps the most critical element comes from a study finding 83% of customers who have churned say that live customer service support would have had an impact on that decision to change companies.
Stopping them before they move on is crucial because the same study found more than two-thirds of customers won’t come back to you after they leave. Or, you could look at the opposite side of the coin and see that increasing your customer retention rate by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%. Gartner even estimates that about 80% of tomorrow’s revenue is driven by 20% of today’s customers.
Let’s look a little deeper at what studies can show us around CX and customer service, especially in terms of revenue:
- 39% of people will consider buying more from you after their first positive customer service experience
- 45% of shoppers are willing to pay more for the promise of better customer service
- At the same time, 45% will leave your site in the middle of a purchase if they have a question but no live support to get an answer from
- 89% of customers say a quick response is essential when deciding who to buy from
- 97% say bad customer service changes buying behavior
- 87% say good customer service changes buying behavior
- 41% of Millennials want more options for contacting customer service
- 58% of customers will “go out of their way” to buy from a company they already know has a quality CX and service team
Live customer support becomes even more crucial when you realize that 83% of U.S. shoppers prefer to deal with live humans, regardless of what channel they are using to get service, according to that Accenture study.
Start with what customers want: live chat
Protecting your existing customers and getting new leads to be excited about working with you requires a comfortable interaction. Your first assignment is to make that as easy as possible for the customer in ways that they prefer.
The right place to start for most companies is live customer support chat, which has an average of 92% consumer satisfaction rating. They believe that it is more helpful and solves their problem more quickly than almost any other option, plus it is more dynamic, so they don’t need to worry about always having the right technical terms to get help.
There are a variety of plugins that make adding chat simple. So, pick your favorite and fire it up, then add chat to every single page you run.
Live chat options improve CX even if your customers never click. They know that you’re ready and available, which starts building trust as soon as they land on your site. Persistent chat boxes that follow customers across pages are recommended because it prevents the loss of information or questions during any click.
Add times and typing indicators
Since we’re focusing on CX, we want to look at chat from the customer’s perspective. If they ask a question and have to wait 2 minutes for a response, but don’t know the wait time, it can quickly feel like shouting into the void. It’s why 79% of consumers who prefer live chat rank speed as its chief benefit.
Your platform can automatically address this with two must-have features:
- Automated notices of average wait time or place in a queue
- A visual indicator that the agent is type (can be an “agent is typing” note or the common ellipsis)
These two options immediately tell the customer that your agents are answering questions now. It eases concern and keeps the customer on your site. If they know your agent is trying to find the answer, they’ll wait for it.
Agents can be trained to make this process even more impactful by acknowledging questions and statements before they try to find an answer. A simple “let me look into that” can disarm a customer and limit possible frustration.
Minimize response times
The flip side of these is that you’ll want well-trained agents and a robust knowledgebase available to keep answer times down to a minimum. Seeing the “agent is typing” icon for 10 minutes isn’t going to cut it.
You want to ensure your response times are as fast as possible. This is why many agents juggle multiple chats at once. They can navigate to answers while customers take time asking questions, reading answers, or remember to come back to chat after a text message from their bae.
We think video is a great tool to help minimize response times around common questions. You can create quick snippets that demonstrate using products or software, or how to fix issues, and then share these immediately. Zight (formerly CloudApp) can help you create these in ways that mirror the real-world experiences your customers have.
Speak like your customer
Each industry has its own alphabet soup, but not all customers speak it well. Simplifying the language you use and keeping things direct is the best way to keep everyone on the same page.
Speak at each individual’s level. If they know the jargon, you’re free to use it. If they use simple language and avoid technical terms, you should do the same. Again, here’s where photos and video can demonstrate the same things to multiple customer levels without anything getting lost in translation.
Ask for feedback
The final piece of the live chat conversation is to ask for feedback when things are finished. Using a quick survey in the chat window — but separate from the agent who delivered the support — will help reinforce the conversational nature of live chat. It also gives your customers the best opportunity to interact with your company and let you know what’s working.
Reviewing this data allows you to help employees improve or where you need to adjust offers. Your customers want specific upgrades, new features, changes, and even removing options. The best way to learn this is to ask. Since your customers are already engaging in a conversation with you, post-chat surveys give you some of your best chance to capture how customers actually feel.
Bring it back to the relationship
Positive experiences and interactions build long-term relationships with your customers. These relationships enable you to focus on a core group of people to generate recurring revenue. The better you do with this group, the easier it is for you to grow and outshine your competition.
Live chat with quality support is one of your best tools to build this long-term relationship because customers can continually come back to your site to get answers quickly. They feel heard, and you even have opportunities to offer products or services that address the new needs discussed.
Having these quality interactions also means more opportunities for someone to have a good enough CX that they share it on social or review sites.
Every interaction you have with a customer impacts how they feel about you and whether or not they’ll do business with you. Great experiences make them more likely to stick around, while a poor CX can drive them to your competitors.
The data all points to prioritizing quality service and CX as a way to safeguard your profitability and sales by retaining more customers. You’ll edge out those who have to focus on advertising more and more to make up for churn. There are many tools you can use to tackle CX, but the best to start with is often a live chat option that works across all business elements, customers, and leads.
Make the connection easy to see
Looking for ways to ensure those engagement levels are high and customers like the CX? Zight (formerly CloudApp) provides a variety of features designed to help in areas that your customers see, as well as plenty that are behind-the-scenes. A few of our favorites are:
- Easily create support materials and tutorials
- Provide customers with detailed answers and close Zendesk tickets faster
- Track & process bugs faster and document problems
- Share resources with agents and leaders through leading software integrations
- Improve customer support initiatives – download your FREE 6 slide template here
Learn more about Zight (formerly CloudApp) for Customer Support here.