New research shows that customers are just as likely to share a positive experience as a negative one. Read on to learn more.
Customer service professionals could be forgiven for thinking that their efforts to ensure top-quality assistance go largely unnoticed; we have a tendency to assume bad experiences have a more lasting impact on customers, and that a good customer experience is quickly forgotten.
However, new research shows that customers are just as likely to share a positive experience as a negative one. The survey commissioned by Yonder Digital Group canvassed the opinions of 1,000 consumers in January 2017, asking them if, and how they share their experiences with a company with their family or network.
89% of respondents confirm they tell their family and friends following a good customer experience, while 84% say they relay a bad experience to people they know. The idea that consumers have a greater tendency to communicate criticism is therefore a myth, and customers should be given more credit for acknowledging excellence in customer service.
Similarly, 38% affirmed they post about good customer experiences with a company on social media, compared to 31% who post about bad experiences. With almost 40% of Europeans on Facebook and 600 million active Instagrammers, it’s unsurprising that social media is the first port of call for some, though it is not always to complain; rather, social media users enjoy telling friends and followers about good treatment and positive outcomes following contact with a company.
As a result of social media, this sharing of experiences has arguably become almost as important as the experience itself, with customers quick to review products and services through posts, ratings and photos. Their aim is often to garner positive comments from others, as well as to pass on recommendations.
Additionally, these results suggest that customers are not so accustomed to excellent customer experiences that they have stopped discussing them. This means there is still plenty for businesses to learn to help them harness this readiness of customers to talk about swift query resolution, friendly service or rewards for loyalty. Businesses should look to encourage sharing by maintaining excellence in customer services, and by gaining a better understanding of the customer.
Looking more closely at the breakdown of Yonder’s results, it is clear that assumptions about customers are not always correct. Though the research does confirm that younger people are more likely to post about a customer experience on social media, there is no such pattern when it comes to verbally sharing experiences; consumers of all ages are just as likely to tell friends and family about an experience.
It is therefore a mistake for companies to coast along with broad ideas about their customers. Instead, they should take stock of the data that is made available by customers, and conduct an analysis to help produce insights about what customers really prefer. It is through these insights that businesses can improve their service, and as a result, promote positive sharing.
Previous research was able to shed some light on customer preferences, and found that customers tend to increase their business with companies who are able to provide live customer services at crucial points of the customer journey, whether to respond to a query over the phone, or to provide key information in person. At the same time, customers value channel choice, enabling individuals to choose their favoured means of communication depending on the situation.
These results provide a sound basis for further investigation within businesses, as enthusiastic customers are indispensable ambassadors for any brand. Sharing should be encouraged and facilitated, not only by continual improvement of customer services, but also through an analysis of the channels customers use to talk about their experiences. As for customer service representatives, they can take heart that consumers do take notice of excellent service and reward it with their powerful championing.
About the Author
Graham is an entrepreneurial CRM & marketing leader with extensive industry recognition. Obsessed with increasing customer value and ROI through innovative data-driven customer experience solutions, he helped pioneer CRM during the early 1990s within the UK automotive industry through the creation of Ion Group, a contact centre led business. Ion rapidly became the recognised leading agency within this space winning a number of prestigious marketing industry body awards. Since then he has covered key leadership roles at Moonriver Group, Arvato Loyalty, where he was CEO, Caddyshack Marketing, Go Response, and most recently, Yonder Digital Group.