What happens when your customer has a negative service experience?

What is customer experience? Paul Greenberg, author of the best-selling CRM at the Speed of Light, President of The 56 Group, and a world-renowned customer experience expert, defined customer experience as:

Paul Greenberg

Essentially, control of the relationship now lies with the customer. Your customer finds you and starts a relationship with you. But, what happens when this customer has a negative service experience?

Esteban Kolsky of ThinkJar Research conducts a very comprehensive annual survey, gathering data from hundreds of customer service and experience management professionals, covering technology and CX/CEM related trends. His 2015 research highlights revealed what happens when customers have a negative service experience– and it’s not pretty.

1. 84% of consumers are frustrated when an agent does not have information they are looking for.

Customer frustration leads to the following:
a. 13% tell 15 or more people if they’re unhappy.

b. Conversely, 72% of consumers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people.

2. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain. The rest churn.
The lesson here is that companies should not view absence of feedback as a sign of satisfaction. The true enemy is indifference.

3. 91% of unhappy customers who are non-complainers simply leave. Ouch!

4. 66% of consumers who switched brands did so because of poor service.

5. 85% of customer churn due to poor service was preventable.

6. 11% of customer churn could be prevented by simple company outreach.

7. It is 6-7X more expensive for companies to attract new customers than to keep existing customers.

The lesson?

A negative customer service experience is inevitable – it will happen, but how you deal with this situation makes the difference between retaining and losing customers.

Here are some questions you should ask when customers have a negative experience.

  • What are you doing to acknowledge the poor experience and to resolve the situation? Do you:

icon_listen – Actively poll your customers to get a pulse of their sentiment at a transactional level?

icon_listen – Come to conclusions about what is happening from the customer data that you have accumulated?

icon_listen – Reach out to the customer and acknowledge the experience? 11% of customer churn can be prevented by doing this.

icon_listen – Engage your customers to build on their positive experiences to grow your relationship?

By answering these questions and developing a customer experience strategy or program, you can avoid some of the very detrimental effects of poor customer experience. Better yet, you may actually improve your services and returns!