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Why the customer is always right

11th Nov 2016
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‘The customer is always right’ – it’s an old adage, but it still holds true. Don’t believe us? In this post, we’re sharing 10 powerful stats featured in NewVoiceMedia whitepapers that prove the point once and for all.

1. British businesses lose £10.8 billion every year because of poor customer service

As you can see, inadequate customer service can have a big impact on your company’s bottom line. Keeping customers happy is a major priority – and nothing makes customers unhappier than being told they’re wrong. By treating your customers with the dignity and respect they deserve, and taking their issues or concerns seriously, your organisation is more likely to win their good will and retain their custom.  

2. 60% of consumers favour a balance of price and service and will not tolerate bad customer service in exchange for a cheap deal

Some companies think that they can make up for poor service with low prices. However, as this statistic makes clear, for the majority of consumers, low prices are not enough. Instead, listen to your customers and aim to achieve a balance between service and cost, even if you’re predominantly catering to people on a budget.

3. 59% of customers find generic sales pitches irritating

The consensus among customers is clear: generic sales pitches are a dud. Not only can most consumers recognise a generic pitch when they hear it, but they actively dislike it and are less likely to make a purchase as a result. So don’t disregard your prospects’ feelings – instead, respect their preferences and personalise your pitches.

4. 57% of customers prefer to make a purchase from a salesperson who hasn’t applied pressure or hassled them when following up

Your customers know how they want to be treated by your sales team – and, as the above statistic demonstrates, they don’t want to feel heavy-handedly pushed into making a purchase. So accept your customers are right about this, and make sure your sales staff are trained to use a softer approach to selling.

5. 59% of customers prefer not to interact with a sales rep

Customers are growing increasingly comfortable with making purchases without the help of a sales rep, with more people than ever researching products online, enjoying virtual product demonstrations and webinars, and completing the sale through the website. It is your organisation’s responsibility to listen to your customers and provide them with the tools, information and functionality they need to self-fulfil a purchase – or else risk losing their business.

6. 42% of British customers have previously switched companies because of bad customer service

As this figure shows, customers in the UK feel no regret about walking away from a company that has failed to provide the level of service they expect. While there are many factors that can contribute to a bad customer service experience, it is undeniable that customers who feel that their concerns or issues are not being treated with the seriousness they deserve are likely to vote with their feet.

7. Faced with poor customer service, 52% of customers would write a complaint letter or email, 47% would never use the company again, 40% would change suppliers, and 16% would tell friends and colleagues not to use the company

Again, the statistics above demonstrate the possible negative repercussions of not taking your customers’ concerns seriously. From formal complaints to the loss of an entire social network’s business, the impact can be severe. By believing that your customers are always right and doing whatever you can to assist them, the likelihood of this nightmare scenario becoming a reality reduces significantly.

8. If provided with better customer service, 68% of customers say they would be more loyal, 59% would recommend the business to others, 34% would use the business more frequently, and 30% would spend more money

Conversely, it is also worth remembering the positive effects of good customer service. As the above stats show, listening to your customers and treating their opinions with respect can help improve customer loyalty, increase revenue and lead to referrals – all of which are great for your business’ bottom line.

9. 56% of customers feel a strong connection to organisations who engage on social media

As a business, you should be where your customers are. And your customers have spoken: they want you to be on social media. This is a double win for brands, as it not only gives them a new platform with which to engage their customers, but also means they can provide customer service across a channel that is actively preferred by a growing number of consumers.

10. Between 2013 and 2015, online reviews and public social media complaints responding to poor customer service went up 3%

Of course, social media can be a double-edged sword, as it gives customers a whole new channel upon which they could air their grievances. Before social media, an unhappy customer might complain about a brand to their close friends or family; now, their angry words could reach hundreds or even thousands of people. So treat your customers’ concerns as valid – or else risk earning their (very public) wrath.

So there you have it: 10 reasons why the customer is always right – backed up by statistics taken from NewVoiceMedia’s research. To learn even more about delivering excellent customer service, in addition to developing best sales practice, take a look at our selection of insight-packed whitepapers.

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