- On May 6, 2021
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- businessleaders, cfo, consumertrends, customerservice, ecommerce, increaseprofits, manufacturing
When Service Goes Wrong
Consider this scenario: Brad has recently placed an order for a Bluetooth speaker from his favorite electronic manufacturer’s website. He expected the speaker to be delivered two days ago, but never received the product. He first goes onto the website to see if there is a self-service portal where he can check the status of his order. Unable to find anything on the website, he decides to call the service number on the website. After being placed on a brief hold, he is connected to an agent. Brad explains the situation and asks if the agent has any information on his order. The agent asks for his order information and Brad hunts in his email to find it. He is then transferred to another agent, who asks for his order information, his full name, and address. At this point Brad is starting to get frustrated. He just provided his order number to the agent prior, why should he have to repeat it? And shouldn’t the agent know his name and address based on the order number? The agent thanks him for the information and Brad is placed on yet another brief hold before being transferred to someone in the logistics department. He is asked (yet again) for his order number. After the agent does some searching (at this point the call has lasted nearly half an hour) he reports to Brad that unfortunately the product was lost sometime in the delivery process, and there is nothing they could do. Frustrated that he wasted so much time, Brad hangs up the phone and never purchases from the brand (which used to be his favorite!) again.
The Cost of Poor Customer Service Technology
This type of situation occurs more often than you might think. In fact, 77% of consumers feel it takes too long to reach a live agent, and 26% have been transferred from agent to agent with no resolution (1). Providing quality service that lives up to your customers’ expectations is even more difficult in 2021 when consumers expect answers immediately and have access to unlimited products in a global, digitally connected marketplace. In fact, while 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases after a good customer service experience, approximately 80% of consumers say they would rather do business with a competitor after a single bad experience. This damages profits greatly since increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits between 25-95% (2). Furthermore, considering that it is 5-25 times more costly to attract new customers than retain existing ones (2), providing optimum service to your valuable, loyal customers is paramount for manufacturing companies.
Poor service causes manufacturers to lose not just existing customers, but new ones as well! Dissatisfied customers take to word of mouth, product review sites, and social media to air their complaints. With more purchase options available than ever before, 88% of consumers look to online reviews to influence their purchase decisions (1). Furthermore, almost half of consumers will share a poor experience on social media for the world to see (2)! Seeing as 90% of Americans use service as the deciding factor in doing business with a company (2), having a poor reputation when it comes to service loses your company valuable business! Clearly, finance and operations leaders need to make service a priority to maximize profits.
The Role of Data in Customer Service Technology
An integrated system that houses all your operations and business data is essential to providing the best service. 31% of consumers consider a knowledgeable agent to be the most important factor for a positive customer experience (1). With the ability to access product, order, customer information, inventory, and production data from a single platform, updated in real-time, agents are equipped with the tools they need to provide customers with the information they need, without exasperating hold times and transfers to multiple departments.
Let’s take another look at our friend Brad. After scouring the internet for the leading Bluetooth speaker manufacturer, he finally decides to give a new brand a try. He places his order and delivery is expected in two weeks. However, Brad will be out of town that week on a business trip and needs to adjust the delivery date. “Here we go again,” he thinks as he recalls his last delivery fiasco. He visits the company website and inputs his order information, and can see his order status, expected delivery date, product information, and more. He gives the service number a call and is prompted to type his order number into the keypad, shortly after which he is connected with an agent. “Hi Brad!” greets the agent, “I see you are calling about your Bluetooth speaker, which is scheduled to arrive two weeks from today. How can I help you with that?” Taken aback by how seamless the process is so far, Brad explains that he needs to adjust his delivery date, and after a brief and pleasant conversation, the speaker is now expected to arrive the day after Brad’s return. A relieved Brad tells his coworker about his experience after she mentions she was also expecting a package while they are on their business trip. “Wow!” she thinks, “I’ll definitely need to make my next electronic purchase with that company!” Brad receives his speaker exactly when he expects and purchases a wireless mouse from the same company three months later.
Clearly, the impacts of quality Customer Service Technology in today’s digital age have tremendous implications for a company’s success. Technology that houses all the information required to answer customer inquiries and make order adjustments instantaneously allows you to retain happy, loyal customers and attract new ones, ultimately resulting in increased revenue.