Companies that fail to deliver quality customer service experiences could see an adverse impact to their bottom-line. That’s a key takeaway from Zendesk’s Quantifying the Business Impact of Customer Service in Australia Report 2019.

The research reveals that businesses failing to address bad customer experiences may be losing loyal customers and the sales they provide in the short-term.

Nine out of ten customers claim that bad experiences with a company result in a change to their future buying decisions, while almost half of respondents (42 per cent) stopped buying from a company altogether due to a bad experience.

According to the report, while creating loyal and strong relationships with customers has long been a priority for businesses, it is more important now than ever with customers’ high expectations. Customers rate a bad experience as anything from waiting too long, to not even having the issue resolved at all.

Conversely, a good customer service experience was described as receiving fast, effective responses or not having to explain issues multiple times.

The impact of bad customer experience goes far beyond short-term sales. Bad experiences can also have a long-term impact on customers’ perception and relationship with a business. Customers are more than four times as likely to remember unfavourable experiences from two years ago than favourable experiences. Providing timely and effective customer service will ensure companies avoid leaving an indelible mark that is harmful to their reputation.

“Businesses are always competing to offer the latest and greatest products or services. But what is often overlooked is how quality customer service remains to be a cornerstone of business success,” said Amy Foo, Managing Director, Zendesk A/NZ.

“What can separate competing businesses is how they engage with their customers. Providing positive experiences can mean the difference between poor, short-term and positive, long-standing customer relationships. This inevitably has a significant impact on sales and revenue in the long-term.”

While customers do have high expectations, they are very clear about what it is that makes a customer service experience positive. Customers’ preference for a range of platforms highlights how important an omni-channel customer service approach is to making customer experience easy and efficient. A quarter of customers say that simply having multiple options for contacting customer support made for a good experience.

“What this data suggests is that businesses can no longer afford to overlook the importance of delivering consistent excellence in customer service,” Foo said.

“Addressing the challenge to provide a flawless customer experience is achievable, however businesses need to look closely at the service they are delivering to their customers. Practical ways to meet and exceed customer expectations are easier than you think. This could involve streamlining your internal processes for easier communication, offering more self-service options, or simply increasing your channels to make sure your business is across all digital and traditional communication platforms.”

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