Customer Service and Startling Statistics

We are all in customer service whether it’s our working title or not. While we have grown more responsive and pro-active – through feedback, marketplace competition and personal experiences – we always need reminders.

In his book, Beyond Customer Service – Keeping Customers for Life, author Richard F. Gerson presents “Startling Service Statistics.” The stats may have changed since the first and second editions were written in the 1990s, but the concepts about the importance of customer service are definitely current. Here we go, some of the “Startling Service Statistics,” and [1st Person PR comments]:

  • “Only 4 percent of customers ever complain. This means your business may never hear from 96% of its customers, and 91% of those just go away because they feel complaining will not do them any good. In fact, complainers are more likely to continue doing business with you than noncomplainers.  [consider today’s word of mouth, social media “likes,” “dislikes” and other comments]
  • For every complaint your business receives, there are 26 other customers with unresolved complaints or problems, and six of those have serious problems. These are people who can tell you how to make your business better. Get their feedback any way you can.
  • Most customers who complain to you (54%-70%) will do business with you if you resolve their complaint. If they feel you acted quickly and to their satisfaction, then up to 95% of them will do business with you again, and they will probably refer other people to you.
  • A dissatisfied customer will tell up to 10 people about it. Approximately 13% of those will tell up to 20 people about their problem. You cannot afford the advertising to overcome the negative word of mouth [such as today’s hundreds or thousands of hits or dislikes]
  • Happy customers, or customers who have had their complaints resolved, will tell between three and five people about their positive experience. Therefore, you have to satisfy three to four customers for every one that is dissatisfied with you. …[or, more unhappy customers talk about you than satisfied customers…]
  • It costs five to six times more to attract new customers than to keep old ones. …Customer loyalty and the lifetime of a customer can be worth up to 10 times as much as the price of a single purchase…
  • Businesses that provide superior service can often charge more, realize greater profits, and increase their market share and have customers willingly pay more for their products simply because of the good service [well, maybe?]. …
  • Customers stop doing business with you because:

► 1 % die

► 3 % move away

► 5 % seek alternatives

► 9 % begin doing business with the competition

► 14 % are unhappy with the product or service

► 68 % are unhappy with the treatment they have received.”

If you would like to share your customer service experiences or update the “startling service statistics” in a 1st Person PR blog post, let us know.

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2 Responses to “Customer Service and Startling Statistics”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the great article..

  2. dobra nowina says:

    … Your useful information means a great deal to me and substantially more to my office colleagues. Thanks a ton from all of us.

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