Customer service takes on a new sense of urgency

Silence is golden, and when it comes to customer service, almost unheard of.

Silence is golden, and when it comes to customer service, almost unheard of. 

According to the second annual Breakout Brands study released by rbb Public Relations on “The Service Factor,” 88% of consumers will reach out to a company when they experience a product or service problem. Sadly, the majority of them will be unhappy with the outcome. 

Communications about and within the customer experience has taken on a new sense of urgency as customers want brands to act fast, solve their problems, and speak the truth.

  • How fast is fast? 
    The majority of consumers want to connect with companies immediately to discuss a product or service problem. Don't make them dig for a customer service number and remember instant platforms, like online chat, are on the rise. The survey showed the more immediate the brand response, the higher the level of consumer satisfaction with the solution.
  • Problem solved?
    These bold new customers are giving brands an ultimatum - deliver good products or services and a positive experience or risk losing them and everyone they influence. We all know the effects of negative reviews, so we decided to look at the positive. We found that 79% of those surveyed were more likely to recommend a company or service based on how well the company responded, and 59% were willing to try a new brand or service for reported better customer service. The 2012 Global Customer Service Barometer by American Express measured these abandoned purchases at more than $83 billion annually.
  • Really?
    Do you communicate with “soul” like true breakout brands? Or are you just talking and not delivering? An overwhelming 79% of consumers don't trust disingenuous phrases used constantly in customer experience communications such as “high quality” and “personalized service.” When consumers lack trust in company claims more will bail on transactions creating a vicious cycle of marketing failure.

Breakout brands avoid the pitfalls above by sticking to what made them breakout in the first place. A breakout brand forgets the competition and puts the customer first, creates the future in terms of products or services that people may not even know they need yet, and it communicates its values honestly. Breakout Brands inspire emotional connections with consumers that can be felt at the cash register. Last year's survey showed that 83% of consumers would pay more for a product or service from a company they feel puts them first.

Clearly, the best way for a brand to show the customer is number one is to provide a first-class customer service experience. Today's “do it now, do it right” consumer wants nothing less.

Christine Barney is the CEO and managing partner of rbb PR.

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