Customer service is vital for a business to be successful. It’s usually the first impression your customers, or potential customers, will have of you. That initial introduction will likely shape how the public perceives your brand. Crucially, however, it affords the opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.
That said, no matter how much attention is given to the importance of customer service, many businesses still struggle to get it right. And getting it wrong can have a real impact on your revenue.
Fortunately, we’ve found 12 fascinating statistics that could help boost your customer service and make your business a market leader.
- 94% of most marketing budgets are spent on persuading a customer to call (KissMetrics)
Today, the standard marketing model is to spend a substantial portion of your business’ budget on advertising campaigns, particularly to encourage consumers to get in touch. In fact, almost 95% of most marketing budgets focus on drawing in calls.
At first glance, this number seems a bit excessive. Why do so many companies focus on inbound calls rather than clicks and in-person visits? Is getting the customer to call you that much better than persuading them to make an order online? Well, the statistics might surprise you.
- 61% of mobile searchers say click-to-call options are the most valuable when shopping (Invoca)
Advancements in technology have resulted in mobile browsing becoming the most common method of consumer research. This explains why click-to-call is so valuable: consumers are able to learn about a product, compare sellers, and purchase that product all from one device, sometimes in a matter of minutes!
A call is not only the most convenient channel of communication for the customer, it’s also the most successful for your business. This is why so many organizations, big and small, are trusting live answering services, such as AnswerForce, to handle their calls with care.
- Phone calls have 30-50% conversion rates, compared with only 1-2% for clicks (marketingland)
Inbound phone calls are the most valuable type of business lead. Calls to your business actually convert to real sales at about 15 times the rate of simple online advertisement.
The good news doesn’t stop there, though. Not only are consumers more likely to make an initial purchase via phone call, they’re also more likely to purchase more products. Let’s find out why…
- 42% of B2C customers purchased again, after a good customer service experience (InsightSquared)
Strong customer relationships are often built on the personal touch of a phone call. Once the customer has reached your business by phone, you then have direct influence over their experience. The better your customer service is, the more likely they will be to return and commit to repeat purchases.
This is concrete proof that the way you handle a customer’s call can have a huge impact on your revenue. That initial impression is so important, and it’s why answering services like AnswerForce put a focus on 95% of calls being answered within the first four rings.
- 1/3 of calls placed in 2014 were directed to the following industries: insurance (auto and health), financial services, home services, education, and automotive (Invoca)
The fact that such enormous, important industries still rely upon phone calls for a large percentage of business tells us that the call market remains very lucrative.
While this is great news for businesses operating in these sectors, the fact is that every business will receive a call of some type, at some point. Efficient call handling is important for any and every business. Many of the industries listed above outsource their phone handling to professional call answering services, ensuring satisfied customers.
Based on the statistics we’ve covered, it makes sense that modern businesses focus resources on encouraging consumers to pick up the phone. But what happens when a customer actually does call a company? This is where things get interesting…
- 53% of customers are irritated if they don’t speak to a real person right away (InsightSquared)
Think back to the industries above. With such a wealth of new inquiries stemming from phone calls, it seems common sense to assume that the companies themselves would be answering them. Surprisingly, this is often not the case, and the result is that over half of us are irritated if we phone a business only to be put through to a machine.
We’re all human, and the numbers show that we usually want to speak to another human being before we even consider parting with money. With that in mind, if you’re thinking of partnering with an answering service, it’s always best to opt for one that provides a real, reassuring voice on the line.
- 70% of consumer-initiated phone orders were placed on hold (KissMetrics)
The battle isn’t over once you’ve got the customer on the phone. Now it’s a case of keeping them engaged and listening to their queries with an empathetic ear. But, again, thousands of businesses are missing this important aspect. 70% of calls to businesses are put on hold. Put yourself in a customer’s place: how long are you willing to wait before being attended to? Is the product worth the time wasted?
These are questions you never want consumers to ask themselves. You can avoid putting potential customers in this position by working with a professional answering business. Services such as AnswerForce can support your business with 24/7 presence and the capacity to handle a large influx of calls.
- The average caller spends 57 seconds on hold (KissMetrics)
A minute might sound fine, but imagine standing in a queue at a store. You have a product in hand, you’re ready to purchase, and… there’s nobody around to take your order.
20 seconds go by, and you start to feel frustrated. Now imagine waiting three times that long, with nothing but hold music to keep you company. That’s a long time to keep a customer waiting. Not only that, but it’s also bad customer service. It’s likely that the consumer will remember the frustration of being placed on hold better than they’ll remember the rest of their experience.
- 55% of consumers have intended to make a purchase, but backed out because of poor customer service (American Express)
Marketing budgets focused on customer calls could often be producing a much bigger return on investment for the business. Poor customer service is frequently a roadblock on the customer’s journey. According to American Express, over half of consumers have been at the finish line, ready to hand over their money, and then canceled the entire transaction due to bad service.
And the damage doesn’t stop there. A lost sale is the start, but that person will now come away from the business with a negative impression of your brand.
- Only 25% of customers are likely to discuss a positive interaction, but 65% are likely to share negative customer service experiences (Harvard Business Review)
Word of mouth has always been hugely important for businesses. These days, it’s much easier to share our experiences with others – all it takes is one angry Facebook post and your company’s reputation takes a hit.
The numbers show that consumers are far more likely to share their bad customer service experiences than their good ones. Any organization that doesn’t prioritize customer service is running the risk of lost business in the future.
- For every customer complaint, there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent (The Huffington Post)
Ignoring customer service can affect your in two ways. Not only does it push consumers towards bad experiences, it can also show your business in a bad light if complaints aren’t handled appropriately.
Nobody likes poor feedback, but approaching it in the right way can turn a bad experience into a positive one. When a customer complains, take the time to hear them out, answer their questions, and attempt to rectify the situation. This can help you streamline your processes to avoid similar bad customer experiences in the future, but it can also create a positive image of your brand. People make mistakes, but we like to see them owning their blunders and fixing the problem.
Having a trusted, professional call answering service ready to take queries 24/7 can be an incredible help when keeping track of customer experiences.
- 66% of companies compete on customer experience, compared to just 36% in 2010 (Forbes)
In competitive markets, especially ones that have a predominantly web-based presence, products and prices have become broadly the same. With so many options available at the click of a button, consumers are searching for standout brands before making a purchase. The average consumer wants a company that can provide the most value compared with competitors.
There’s no debating that customer service adds amazing value to an organization. So much so that it has become one of the key ways in which companies rate themselves against competing brands.
When a customer has an amazing experience, they share it. Companies realize the power of word-of-mouth marketing. Be so amazing that your customers want to tell everyone about their experience. Customer service and/or customer experience is the new marketing. (Forbes)
By partnering with an answering service, you can provide your callers with a smooth and simple customer experience, while simultaneously marketing your business.
AnswerForce can equip your business with live agents ready to answer calls 24/7. These live agents can take messages, live call transfer, schedule appointments, book orders, capture leads, and more!
By hiring an answering service, you’ll never have to worry about missing valuable calls, and you won’t have to stress about leaving your customers on hold. Having your inbound calls in safe hands will let you use your marketing budget to its full potential.
24/7 call answering creates a positive brand image, leading to higher customer satisfaction and an increase in profits. What are you waiting for? It’s your call.
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