Never underestimate the importance of good customer service — it could mean the difference between success and failure for your business.
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More than two-thirds of American consumers said they're willing to spend 14 percent more on average with a company that delivers excellent service, according to new survey from American Express.
And it's not just about making more sales. Providing great customer service could get you free publicity, too. Forty-six percent of respondents said they always tell others when they've had good service interactions, and 42 percent said that a recommendation from a friend or family member is more likely to get them to do business with a new company.
"Good service is good business because it creates impassioned, loyal customers," said Kelly Fisher, senior vice president of relationship care strategy at American Express. "Those engaged customers spend more and share their excitement with others, which often influences their buying decisions." [Customer Service Done Right: 5 Best Practices ]
But if consumers are quick to discuss good customer experiences, what happens when they experience poor customer service? Even more customers (60 percent) are likely to share their bad experiences with others, and they tell nearly three times as many people.
And just one bad experience could turn your customers off for good. Thirty-seven percent of consumers said they'll switch companies after one instance of poor service, and 58 percent are willing to endure only two or three instances.
Customers aren't just spreading the word about your business face-to-face, either (though 9 in 10 consumers do, good or bad). Fifty percent of respondents use company websites to share their experiences, 49 percent do so via text messaging, 47 percent do so through social media, and 46 percent use consumer review websites.
"People are going to talk about your service, one way or another, so what do you want them to be saying?" Fisher said. "In an environment where the recommendation of a friend is so important in driving a consumer's purchasing decisions, creating good service experiences is extremely important."
These findings come from American Express' annual Global Customer Service Barometer. The study surveyed a random sample of 1,000 U.S. consumers ages 18 and up. Research was conducted with marketing performance specialists Ebiquity.
Originally published on Business News Daily.