We all want to be more data-driven in 2016. We know survey data and reports reveal important insights that can help us improve your customer service centers.
Here’s a roundup of ten surprising customer service stats to help you go into 2016 armed with useful data.
Customer Service Impacts Loyalty
We’ve heard this claim a million times by now. But what are the numbers to back it up?
4. Poor customer service experience has motivated 62% of global consumers to avoid a brand or organization. >>Tweet This!
Customers Want a Self-Service Option
5. 90% of consumers expect a brand or organization to offer a self-service customer support portal. >>Tweet This!
7. 3/4 of consumers want the ability to solve product/service issues on their own. >>Tweet This!
8. 60% of consumers view a brand with a mobile-responsive self-service offering more favorably. >>Tweet This!
Customer Support Teams Need Support
To-Do’s for 2016
I reached out to Help Scout Marketer Gregory Ciotti to get his input on what customer service teams should do differently in 2016 based on the latest customer service stats.
“There’s always something interesting to learn from the Salesforce Research’s State of Service report,” Gregory told me about the an annual survey of over 1,900 global customer service leaders.
“Of all the statistics made available this year, perhaps the most jarring piece of data was the following:
“The disparity between high-performing teams and underperformers is shocking,” Gregory said.
We know correlation isn’t causation. Still, it’s probably NOT coincidence that empowered agents perform better.
“Granting support the autonomy it needs to take care of problems isn’t a nice-to-have, it’s table stakes,” Gregory said. “Of course, saying a support team is empowered and actually empowering them are two different things.”
True nuff. As we’ve covered on this blog, a common customer service fail is poorly trained, dis-empowered customer service agents.
“At Help Scout, we put support on equal footing with every other department in the business,” Gregory said.
“Here are a few practices we’ve learned from empowered teams that we apply to our own support,” Gregory said.
Head of Support should report directly to the CEO. For companies of our size, to not have your support lead in direct contact with your C-level means there is a huge disconnect. Part of improving your customer support means putting your support team at the table; giving the head of support the opportunity to represent their concerns is the only way to get unfiltered input.
Support teams should work with product teams. The queue is a goldmine of unsolicited product feedback that would disappear if not for the support team. Everyone on our support team is empowered to organize and pass on customer feedback to the product team—we use a simple system in Trello to make it easy. Without the autonomy to make these decisions, it’s tough for a support team to help anyone get what they need.
Support teams should prefer guidance over hard rules. A key part of increasing customer satisfaction is giving your support team plenty of guidance and training around what to do and who to talk to in uncertain situations. But you also need to give them the freedom to help customers in unplanned ways. The most important guidelines you’ll write will be around security, pricing, and tone. In most other instances, autonomy gives support teams the flexibility needed to impart “frugal WOWs” to customers, earning loyalty by giving extra unexpected effort.
Here are two more stats to leave you with. For 76% of consumers, customer service is the true test of how much a company values them. And yet, 45% of customers can’t remember having a recent successful customer experience. Customer service fails included poor response times for 35% of survey respondents. Poorly trained or disempowered agents foiled the interaction for 30% and 31%, respectively. And 29% of customers received inaccurate or conflicting information from customer service.
A goal for this blog is to help teams become more data driven. To learn more, check out these posts: What is NPS? Net Promoter Score Explained, 3 Strategies to Improve Your Customer Satisfaction Score – Even For a Seasoned Rep, How to Use Net Promoter Score: Sabrina Bozek Offers Tips for B2B Customer Experience Pros.
What are some stats that have helped you fine-tune your processes? Let me know in the comments!