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Are Poor Customer Experiences Costing You Business?

It can be impossible to work out the full impact a bad reputation has on your business. Poor customer service, in particular, can cause a massive negative impact for businesses. In America, research by VisionCritical found that 51 per cent of customers switched business due to poor customer experience. Likewise, in 2017, the Ombudsman Services report revealed that UK businesses lose an estimated £37 billion each year due to bad customer service. In this article, we will explore why it is crucial to maintain a good experience for your customers. We’ll also show you how to deal with the situation if a bad experience does arise. 


How Can Poor Customer Experiences Cost Your Business?

While a poor customer experience may lead to that customer switching to another company, the damage certainly doesn’t end there. Many businesses rely on word of mouth recommendations, either between friends and family or on online platforms, such as review sites or social media. It is important not to underestimate how influential online reviews now are. Research from VisionCritical states that 80 per cent of customers won’t buy from companies with negative reviews. With Bright Local revealing that 93 per cent of consumers read online reviews, having customer complaints online can drastically reduce your future client base. In turn, this can negatively impact on the profitability of your business. One example of how poor reviews can cost business is evident in the restaurant industry. Harvard Business School discovered that losing only one star on review site Yelp could lead to a 9 per cent drop in annual revenue for a restaurant.

It’s not just revenue where your business will suffer. Having a poor reputation for customer experiences will also impact on who will be willing to consider working for you. A survey by CareerBuilder discovered that in the US, 70 per cent of workers will not apply for a job at a company that has had negative press. As well as needing to spend more on the hiring process, staff will typically end up being paid 21 per cent more to retain them. Furthermore, with fewer people willing to work for such a company, the quality of applicants is likely to be lower. This can further compound the issue of providing poor customer experiences, as staff hired may not be up to the task of delivering the best quality service.


How to Reduce Poor Customer Experiences

While it is inevitable that some customers will have bad experiences with your business, there are some simple steps to reduce instances and limit the damage to your business that comes from them.

 

Plan Responses and Strategies

There are a variety of things that can go wrong for your business that can lead to poor customer experiences. Everything from poorly handled customer enquiries or customer service to marketing disasters and lawsuits will require an appropriate response. When it comes to limiting the damage caused by such experiences, responding quickly can be crucial. It is essential to have a crisis management strategy in place for each area that your company may see a downfall. Then, if a mistake does occur, it can be resolved efficiently. This could be as simple as having protocol in place to offer a discount or refund following a customer complaint. What’s more, businesses could create a selection of prewritten responses to potential incidents which can be published if necessary to lessen the damage done.

 

Reduce Negative Reviews

If a customer is unhappy with an experience but cannot find an appropriate way to complain, it is likely that they will turn to social media or review sites to voice their frustrations. Here, other customers or potential customers will see the complaint and may be discouraged to use your products or services. This can be easily avoided by providing a simple way to put in customer complaints, in whatever manner the customer requires – through your website, email or phone, for example. If the situation is handled correctly, most customers will be forgiving and not leave a bad review or defect to another company.

 

Use Social Media

Increasingly, social media is one of the first places a customer will turn when they have an issue. Make sure that your social media accounts are active, as this can help to boost your brands’ reputation. Having an active social media account tends to make customers perceive the business as more trustworthy. Being on social media accounts will also give you the chance to address and resolve issues from customers before the negative reviews can cause damage to the brand.


 

Request Reviews From Satisfied Customers

VisionCritical reveals that 12 positive reviews are required to offset the effects of a single negative comment. If there are customers you know are happy with the service they receive, kindly request they leave you a review. Any good words they can leave you will be a big boost for your business’ reputation. If you cannot find any customers to provide you with a good review, then a serious overhaul of your customer experience processes must be undertaken.  You should never resort to fake reviews, either purchased or written by employees or friends, as this is illegal and can severely damage your reputation. If you did get genuine good reviews but had a history of faking them, no customers would think them credible.

 

Improve Your Customer Service Centres

Contact centres are typically the first port of call for customers looking for help, and can often be the deciding factor in whether or not an experience with a business is considered good or bad. Ensuring your customer service centre is staffed with well-trained support agents, who use a well-developed, omni-channel call centre solution, will help improve customer experiences.

According to a report from RightNow on customer experience, 73 per cent of customers cited rude and incompetent replies from customer support staff as a reason for giving up on resolving their issue. 86 per cent of consumers then stop doing business with a company due to a bad experience dealing with customer support. With this in mind, it is clear that having a strong customer support team and call centre software is integral to maintaining a good relationship with your customers.

Poor customer experience doesn’t only impact the customer but can be particularly hard on your contact centre staff. Contact systems that leave your customer on hold for hours or require them to repeat information are frustrating for customers. By the time they get through to an agent, the call centre representative will have to begin the call with an apology.

If you’re looking to avoid poor customer experiences by improving your contact centre, then Hostcomm can provide the solutions to help you achieve this. Our omni-channel contact centre solutions can ensure that your clients will always receive a consistently excellent service from you, no matter how they choose to contact you. Omni-channel contact centres allow customers to decide how they want to get in touch, creating a seamless experience. With many ways of getting in touch from chatbots, live chat and queue call backs, your contact centre will cater to your customers and provide better customer experiences. This will reduce the time your customers are waiting for a solution, so you can avoid the growing frustrations from customers waiting to discuss their case and ensure a good solution every time! If you would like to discover more about omni-channel, then read our previous blog post ‘What is Omni-Channel?’ or get in touch with one of our expert team on 0808 168 4400.




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