To Service with Love- Global Customer Service Survey (2012)
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To Service with Love- Global Customer Service Survey (2012)

Today marketing is not only about selling a product or service but also about maintaining a good relationship with the customers. This eventually means that a company should aim at designing an excellent service marketing strategy for its business. Why is customer service so important? Customer Service is important because it adds more names to the company’s list of loyal customers.

An effective Service marketing strategy should aim at building up an effective customer service strategy for a product or service through a proper mix of 7P’s of marketing- Product, Price, Place, Promotion, Physical Environment, People, and Process. The last 3 P’s i.e. Physical Environment, People and Process are meant exclusively for Customer Service.

  • Physical Environment: This is an important deciding factor and the hospitality industry has proved this fact that the customers plan a repeat visit to their hotel or restaurant based on the ambience of the place.
  • People: People are an important resource and the customer service standards of a company are decided by the way it treats its employees. Customers love to get served by an employee who goes an extra mile with a smile on his face in order to serve them. A happy and satisfied employee is always eager to serve in the best possible way and this can only be made possible if a company focuses on maintaining a happy work force.
  •  Process: A customer service strategy should aim at delivering its promises through a proper channel and this channel is known as process. A service that is delivered through a proper process can lead to customer delight and gives an advantage to the company over its competitors.

These 3P’s of Service Marketing are not independent of each other. In fact, a proper mix of these 3 P’s is mandatory for designing an effective customer service strategy. Most of the companies fail to recognize the cost of bad customer service. It is an amazing fact that 10-20% of all customer service calls result in an unsatisfied customer. Companies usually detect a small portion of these service failures and this kind of ignorance leads to customer disengagement, and in extreme cases, customer attrition.

2012 Global Customer Service Survey: A Research Report prepared for American Express

Today the quality of service provided by a company is of utmost importance because customers all over the world are aware of the basic customer service standards. Any company in either hospitality industry or manufacturing industry has to strive hard to make the overall experience delightful for the customer. Thanks to the social media, customers can now launch a good or bad publicity campaign for a company based on their overall experience with the company.

Every customer is different and has a different need. It is the duty of the company to understand the needs and expectations of the customers. A global customer service survey was done across various economies and the results revealed some amazing facts about customer service:

  • Many businesses have not changed their attitude towards customer service: According to the report in most markets, one third or fewer consumers see an ‘increased focus on customer service’ on the part of businesses in the current economy. In India 65% of the consumers have given credit to businesses for making an extra effort but on the other hand 36% consumers in Australia think that companies are ‘paying less attention to customer service’ in the current economy.

 

  •  Businesses may be meeting but not exceeding their customer service expectations: If a company provides services beyond the expectations of the customers then it leads to ‘customer delight.’ With the exception of India (12%), fewer than one in ten customers across all markets believe that companies generally ‘exceed their expectations’ for customer service. This means that most of the companies are not working towards achieving customer delight.

 

  • Consumers have spent more for customer service: This is an amazing fact. According to the survey, with the exception of France (44%) and Japan (37%), over half of consumers have spent more with a company because of a history of positive customer service experiences. This clearly shows that good customer service can create a group of loyal customers for the company. This is clearly evident from the survey report which states that customers in India, Mexico, Australia, and U.S are willing to spend more in return for an excellent customer service.
  •  Customers are likely to tell others about their good customer service experiences: Results reveal that with the exception of Germany (28%), and Japan, two in five or more tell other people about their good customer service experiences. This information can be put to an excellent use by the companies in the form of an effective marketing strategy. The alarming part is that, nearly, three in five or more, tell other people about their poor customer service experiences.

 

  • Consumers want polite, responsive and timely customer service: Consumers in the U.S., Australia, and Japan are most likely to switch brand due to a rude or unresponsive customer service representative. This kind of negligence can really harm the business of the company in the long run.

 

  • Hospitality and casual dining Industries rank highest in areas of customer service: The revenue generated through hospitality industry has increased in the recent times because hospitality industry values its customers and their business. Every hotel or a restaurant has focused more on customer service in the recent times and this has resulted in increase in customer loyalty for particular brands of hotels or restaurants.

 

A good customer service needs cultured and well- behaved employees. Companies should focus on training their employees and should increase focus on customer service. It is easy to get a consumer but it is not an easy task to turn a consumer into a customer.

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