After Monday’s post on the collective genius of the folks at KlearGear.com, a reader reached out with a question.
“I buy in to your thoughts on how customers ought to be treated, but is there research to support your statements about how doing business the right way (with a customer focus) actually translates into better business?” Funny you should ask!
Today’s savvy consumers want access to information and support instantly, and if they don’t find what they need quickly, they will look for it somewhere else. Our study tells us that, on average, consumers won’t wait more than 76 seconds if they need help during their online journey. The research indicates that 49% of consumers continue to find websites difficult to navigate, with 33% struggling to seek help or locate customer service.
The folks at MediaPost’s Research Brief summed it up nicely:
Every interaction with a brand can either drive customer loyalty, or lead to abandonment to a competitor, says the report. The repercussions of a negative digital experience have never been higher, and the result of a positive experience is becoming increasingly more valuable. 84% of online users say brand trust is a result of a positive online experience. In addition, the vast majority say that a positive online experience makes it more likely for them to complete the purchase with the company and to buy from a company again
78% of consumers agree that they are more likely to be loyal to companies that give them a great experience and service online
The result of a poor online interaction with a brand is abandonment of the transaction (45%), a negative perception of the company (45%), loss of trust (43%), and loss of a customer to an alternative website (41%)
So to answer the question, yes, treating customers as if they were family members or dear friends does have measurable positive effects. We don’t need research, however, to tell us that suing our customers is a bad idea. Almost as bad as having customer service people who can’t be reached by customers or who treat those customer complaints as annoyances rather than a problem a friend is having.
Does that make sense?