Customer service is an important aspect of running a business. The way a company interacts with consumers has long-ranging effects that can destroy the ability of a business to survive. Compiled here are five facts about customer service, as well as why they matter.
- According to one recent finding, 75% of customers believe it takes too long to reach a real person. Of course, they could always talk to an automated phone system. This process often involves yelling in frustration the same phrase over and over when the robot voice says again that it did not understand the selection.
- In 2011, one survey found that 67% of respondents have hung up before talking to a customer service agent because it took too long. Once they hang up, it is unlikely a business will have another opportunity to improve that person’s impression of their business. What this and the previous fact mean for business owners is someone must always be able to answer the phone, and not just during business hours.
- Long wait times aside, most businesses would still report they deliver a good customer service experience, with one study finding 80% of companies making this claim. Unfortunately, that same study found only 8% of each company’s customers willing to agree. This makes it clear that accurate evaluation is important for a business, and also shows the advantage placing a strong emphasis on customer service can give in a competitive market.
- Not only is it important to have someone answer the phone, that person needs to know the answers to the questions they are asked. Respondents to one consumer survey reported that customer service agents were not able to provide answers to their questions 50% of the time! A savvy business person can take advantage of a large competitor with a poor quality answering service, gaining customers with an emphasis placed on the customer experience.
- The most requested improvement from customers is better human service, with one survey reporting the rate at 40%. An automated answering service clearly may be cheaper, but it does not meet the needs of customers, who want to speak with an actual human.
To proactively make use of these facts, a business must have a professional receptionist able to answer phones round the clock, every day of the year. Business owners considering the significant cost of employing a 24-hour receptionist would be better served by a live telephone answering service.
A live telephone answering service provides all of the benefits of an individual employee, but without the prohibitive cost of a full-time salary, likely multiple salaries to ensure round the clock coverage. Virtual receptionist services can offer after hours answering at a much lower price. For many businesses, as these facts display, a live telephone answering service is the only option that makes sense.