One Poor Experience and your Customers may Stop Buying

5th Sep, 2014
Read time: 2 minutes

Customer-focused organisations work hard to attract new customers and retain them. That is why there is so much focus on mapping the customer experience journey. Every possible touch point with the organisation must be assessed in terms of Customer Effort – or how easy it is to make contact with your company.

A negative experience can have a direct impact on customer satisfaction, and the consequences can be amplified when you take new channels such as social media into account. It is important to understand what those consequences are and how contact centres can minimise them.

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Research has found that 62% of B2B buyers re-purchased from a supplier as a direct result of a good customer service experience. This loyalty effect can last for more than two years afterwards (CMSWIRE, 2014). It is similar for B2C industries where the figure is 42%.

The concern comes when you consider the impact of an adverse customer experience. The same research suggests that 66% of B2B purchasers stopped buying from a supplier after a negative customer experience.

For 72% of respondents, the key cause of poor service was the need to explain a problem to multiple people within a contact centre. Disturbingly, 39% of respondents claim to consciously avoid buying from a vendor for at least two years after a poor customer service experience.

Why social media should be a key part of your contact centre

Where social media is concerned, 54% who have had a poor customer experience shared it with at least five people. Given that 90% of buyers trust peer recommendation above all else before they buy online, the scale of the problem regarding social media starts to come into sharp focus.

Consider too that some of the more vocal social media users have significant volumes of followers and may be very influential in some niche markets. Using metrics such as a Klout score, it is possible to identify the degree of influence each social media user has. A negative comment from someone with a high Klout score may warrant priority handling over someone with a lower score.

Whilst social media can speed up internal business processes by enhancing collaboration, knowledge sharing and innovation, most of us will think first of the negative stories that arise. One poor review can be magnified by social media's viral capability. It is perhaps this aspect more than anything else which can keep senior managers awake at night.

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Yet, from a customer service perspective, the social media channel may be viewed as more hype than reality. Forecasts suggest that, despite a compound annual growth rate of 32%, social media will only represent 2.5% of all contact centre interactions by 2017. It will rank fifth in terms of interaction volume after voice, email, self-service and web chat. Based on this, some may feel that integrating social media into the contact centre warrants a lower investment priority relative to other channels.

However, ignoring the threat is asking for trouble, especially as cost-effective tools are now available to help firms monitor what is said about them in social media. Organisations can now manage the threat posed by negative social media, and so minimise the volumes of customers looking to seek a new supplier.

However, whilst the technology exists, few companies have started to deploy it. This could mean that UK contact centres are already failing social media users.

Look out for our second blog 'UK Call Centres are already failing Social Media Users.'

Alternatively, find out more about using social media within your contact centre.

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