What customers aren’t telling you

How often have you texted somebody about your latest negative experience at a restaurant or a store? Have you ever tweeted or messaged somebody about it? Did you take your beef to the company itself and complain?

“58% of twitter users who have tweeted about a bad brand or product experience never receive a response from the offending company”


Because the company had no idea!

eService projected to grow by 53% in the next year

Recently I had an issue with Xbox Live and needed some support. I found a number after minor searching, contacted an automated system and was given a website and time for when I would be able to chat with a live representative. I was tentative but in the end I got quality help through the chat agent (who joked around with me so I knew they weren’t a bot) and was extremely satisfied with the service. I even filled out the response survey they emailed me to report on my positive experience. I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t on hold once or stuck waiting for someone to get back to me. I also didn’t question that I used a phone call, chat agent, and email during this interaction because it was seamless.

Are you ready?

The shift has begun and is already off and running. The rapid growth of technology has pushed customer service away from the personable and time consuming phone call into several other methods of interaction. Faq’s, chat service, emails have now taken over large percentages of customer support. It’s safe to say that more people will end up messaging their friends about a complaint through social media before contacting the company directly. Zappos and Amazon have claimed that Twitter is now so engrained within their contact centers that the percentages of how they serve their social media customers are too big to neglect.

How fast is your response?

A 2012 STELLA service study claims that companies like Zappos.com and BestBuy.com are responding to their customers anywhere between 1 to 2 hours. The turnaround is key in retention of the customer. Think about your experience and anytime you needed help or support and how did that waiting on hold or waiting for a response effect your desire to continue using that product or business? We have all had our fair share of waiting on hold or awaiting email response and it’s refreshing when we expect to wait and the end result is much different. The calls and emails that fall into the abyss are translating into substantial loses that the company could have retained with a swift response.

Making nothing out of something

Often companies drop the ball. It’s a fine experience when someone is ready and willing to take your money. Banks, travel agencies, and just about every other business will all go out of their way to help you when the possibility of getting some of your hard earned money is on the line. How quickly does that eagerness fade when you have a complaint or an issue that needs to be resolved? The point is that each of our businesses possess the data of the end user experience and often it is an uphill battle to change the policy in place that will directly tie in to engagement and retention. Making that one time profit from a customer is fleeting when we could be making several transactions with repeat customers over the course of a year while establishing trust and building ongoing relationships.

A captive audience

Companies like iTunes, Xbox Live and countless others already have you. If you’ve invested your money into thousands of songs and movies on iTunes then you are engaged and will be often. How is that support when we have an issue? How much do they care? We know that companies with a captive audience can afford to be a bit more obtuse with their support methods. Most of our audiences are not captive and we have no guarantees about those customers returning. Easy access, rapid response, covering all channels of feedback and proactive planning is simply what it takes to stay competitive.

Everything on the internet is true, right?

At the end of the day people can release statistics, analytical reports and the latest infographics. Those numbers may be accurate. That data may be valid, but in our daily lives we often find out we can at least count on ourselves to get to the truth or stop looking. We work in companies where data is prevalent and answers a lot of our questions. Seeking out that data and acting on it is our safest and least risky bet with the highest reward.