Wednesday, January 19, 2022
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How Many More Customers Need To Cry?

Back in April 2016, Pearson published a book I wrote called How To Wow. At the very back of the book is a section called Final Word. Now, I don’t know if anyone ever read it, but I wrote about a dream I have in that section. It was a bit tongue in cheek, but here’s what I wrote:

“I have a dream that if every business in the world improved their customer service and customer experience just a little bit, then we could make the whole world a bit better. People would get better customer service and a much improved customer experience which would make them happier, and because they were happier, there would be fewer problems, and they’d get into fewer arguments. If fewer arguments took place, then there would be fewer disagreements, fewer fights and less conflict and as the ripple effect spread then it could contribute towards achieving world peace.”

I admit that it’s very idealistic. 

But, the idea that service and experience can affect people’s lives is real. Pega recently released the Resolution revolution: Customer service insights report that highlights how real it can get for many customers. 

They surveyed over 7,000 customers, around 3,500 customer-facing employees and nearly 2,000 business leaders from around the world. Of the customers they surveyed, 27% of them said that they felt like their entire day had been ruined by bad service, and 1 in 10 had cried or nearly cried due to the bad service they received. 

One in ten cried!

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it is acceptable that any customer would be so emotionally affected by a service interaction that they would want to cry.

The report provides some insight into some of the frustrations that could lead to such distress. They found that the top five things that frustrate customers during service interactions are: 

  1. Having to repeat information, particularly when they switch channels, 
  2. The time it takes for service teams to respond, 
  3. How long it takes to resolve an issue, 
  4. The lack of service quality consistency across channels, and 
  5. The lack of visibility into the process of service.

Fascinatingly, when they asked business leaders and agents to list their customer service department’s main challenges, the list they produced was remarkably similar to one produced by customers and shared the same top frustration: Having to repeat information.

The idea that customers still have to repeat themselves when they switch channels is particularly frustrating as the tools and technology to facilitate a connected, cross-channel, and more conversational approach to customer service are available. Moreover, used well they would allow brands to be able to reference past conversations and pick up conversations seamlessly across channels.

To not adopt these technologies seems like many brands are choosing to be wasteful and inefficient.

But, many customers are not waiting for brands to get their act together. While the report found that the number of customers saying they will walk away if they receive poor service only rose marginally from 75% in 2019 to 77%, the number that state that with certainty rose a cumulative 10% over the same period.

So, if that firming up of opinion does not add momentum to your efforts to connect your teams and your channels so that you can take a more conversational approach to service, then ask yourself this: 

How many more customers need to cry before you are moved to action?

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