Today’s competitive battlefield is SERVICE. Period. – Part 1

  February 23, 2015       Martin Taylor


The customer service landscape today has become a battleground, with customer experience being the key differentiator for brands fighting for market share. Companies that master the customer service arena are leading the charge in building long-term advocacy and ultimately profitable businesses, whereas those who are losing this battle are experiencing a direct impact on business growth, affecting both revenue and profit – the true cost of customer dissatisfaction!

[1]Let’s look at the evidence:

83% of UK business leaders feel that customers are the biggest driver of change and are the biggest pressure point for businesses today.

53% of UK businesses believe that customer service has become more important over the past 12 months.

66% of UK consumers believe customer service has either stayed the same or deteriorated over the past three years. Only 3% believe it has improved a lot and 22% a little.

81% of customers would be willing to pay more in order to receive superior customer service

Only 29% of the UK’s small businesses believe that customer service is a key differentiator in today’s competitive marketplaces. This compares to 88% of Spanish businesses and 77% of Italian businesses who see customer service as being the differentiator that helps them stand out.

90% of UK shoppers walk away without buying something if they get bad customer service! 41% of shoppers said the biggest frustration is lack of interest in their needs.

59% of UK shoppers want more staff to recommend products, as it makes the experience more personal and 80% of shoppers want to be taken to a product when asking its whereabouts.

When asked what were the key drivers for a customer to spend more with a company 40% said improvement in the overall customer experience and 35% said provide quick access to information and make it easier for customers to answer questions.

74% of customers leave if a website doesn’t load on their smartphone in 5 seconds. In fact a one-second delay in load time would cost Amazon an estimated $1.6 billion a year!

Rude staff are the most common reason for poor customer service by over 50% of UK customers, followed by timeliness (19%) and the inability to fix a customer’s reported problems (19%).

[2]The top 5 reasons that create a decrease in customer loyalty are:

– Being transferred between staff

– No response to an email

– Length of time on hold

– Being unable to reach a human

– Unknowledgeable staff

71% of customers go online first whenever they have a problem with a product.

49% of customers wanting help from a company’s customer service team contact them by email and 43% pick up the phone!

51% of people who make a complaint on line expect a response, but 85% of those questioned have never received one!

85% of customers said they were delighted (27%) or very/somewhat happy (58%) on receiving a public response to their comments on social media from a brand.

46% of customers aged 24 and below use social media to air their grievances. 33% of them say that responses are too slow.

91% of customers don’t always complain when they receive poor customer service with over 40% of them thinking it is not worth complaining as companies simply don’t care!

Only 27% of customers said they either always or often feedback when they’ve had great customer service!

81% of customers would be more likely to give feedback if they knew there would be an instant response!

When asked what is most likely to keep them loyal, UK customers responded:

– Improved trust in the business 3.1%

– Outstanding reputation of the business 4.9%

– Good loyalty rewards 17.1%

– Cost 17.3%

– Excellent customer service 27.5%

– Quality of product or service 30.2%

86% of customers are more likely to purchase something following a good customer experience and 64% are unlikely to repurchase something if they are very dissatisfied with the customer service interaction.

48% of Internet users told other people “all the time” about a good customer service experience with a company.

78% of online customers recommend a brand to friends and other contacts after a great customer experience and 68 % reported that they spend more money on the company’s items.

[1] Sources: Fit To Change Report, Sage UK Research, Cognito, Oracle Report: Why Satisfaction is No Longer Good Enough, Epson Business Council Report, Market Force Research, Fast Company

[2] Sources: Sword Ciboodle and thinkjar Report, Rakuten’s Report, Maritz Research, Rapide,  Portal, Temkin Group, American Express Study, ClickFox

So, faced with this overwhelming evidence – do you want to turn your company into a true ‘customer company’ and steal a march on your competitors – if not, why not?

This is why we have launched Positive Contact – our ‘customer service in the cloud’ answer to poor service…

Introduction to Positive Contact

This is the first of a series of blogs designed to put the makepositive Positive Contact proposition at the top of your agenda when considering improving your customers’ experience.

To frame these blogs, I’d like to start by covering the customer service challenges that the proposition was designed to address and pose the question –

Do you recognise that service experience can really extend the customer lifetime value?

Clearly this is easier to answer if you manage a business that has lots of repeat purchasers or subscribers, but I would argue that even in businesses where it tends to be ‘one and gone’ from a customer perspective, they still have problems or service requests that need to be fulfilled and they still have opinions that their peers acknowledge and you still have a cost to serve that could potentially be the same or less by doing the job right…

The challenges that we have focussed on solving are:

  • Understanding your customer and the journey they set out on with you and how we can ensure you can leverage this journey
  • Understand and simplify the way in which you are connected to your customers
  • How you can ‘show me you know me’ from a customer’s perspective and how you can use your customer data to respond in a personal way
  • How you need to support your customer facing teams and help them to optimise their performance and cost you less in terms of employee dissatisfaction
  • How you choose and deploy technology that will enable you as an organisation to focus 100% on driving a successful customer operation
  • How you can use what you know to continually drive improvements in your operation in an easy to use manner
  • How, ultimately, you can build profitable and meaningful relationships with your customers, employees and partners


Overview of Positive Contact

Positive Contact is the result of makepositive combining their systems integration expertise, their partnerships with leading software and application vendors, their commitment to cloud computing and their investment in their customer service advisory services.


Upcoming blogs

Makepositive have developed a set of solution design principles which we feel will position you ahead of your competitors in the race to deliver service in a way that encourages real customer advocacy and therefore stretch loyalty and ultimately deliver bottom line benefits.

During the following blogs, I will detail our key design principles:

  1. Easy to do business with
  2. Show me you know me
  3. Build a high performing, tenured team
  4. Engage technology to enable your customers, advisors and mangers
  5. Measure the behaviours that impact and matter to your customers and concentrate your efforts in improving them
  6. Build and manage meaningful relationships

I look forward to engaging with you and understanding how we might be able to support you and your business in establishing a positive relationship between you and your customers.

Find out more about Positive Contact