The recent study conducted by American Express on Australian consumers highlighted how important it is, not only to provide quality products, but match those products with excellent customer service.The survey, conducted on a random sample of 1,012 Australians, showed alarming insight in to the perceptions of the quality of customer service people receive from merchants. Of the sample surveyed, 39% of respondents felt that, more often than not, companies failed to meet their expectations of quality service. This was up 7% from the previous year, which as a year-on-year finding, is alarming; particularly as the same study found that 73% of respondents were more willing to pay more for a better experience in choosing their merchant.
Not all bad news for businesses however, as the 73% of respondents willing to pay more for good service, would also be willing to pay up to 12% more for a product if accompanied by excellent customer service. This figure shows a staggering 50% increase as to the extra amount people would pay from the previous year.
While these findings do not claim to reflect every individual, or even claims affect every business sector, it gives a staggering insight in to the importance of factoring in how well you treat your customers. Providing a product is not simply about offering it at the cheapest price. Cost must of course be considered, but the expectations of consumers in receivership can be just as important – and as this survey conducted shows, can be for some, the most important factor in the process of deciding which service provider to choose from.
The quality of service is held in high importance for consumers not only offline but also increasingly online. While online shopping was in its early inception something of a functionary action, the development and increasing intelligence from information gathered on consumers is requiring businesses to understand their users to perhaps a greater extent than ever. With so much information available, on historical purchases, actions taken online and items looked at, businesses, online at least, should be able to cater specifically to individuals and provide a customised and bespoke
The credit card provider is well known for its customer service offerings, as well as the perks such as priority seating for selected events and travel rewards card benefits for example. Quality customer service can also however come from simply remembering what your consumers like and making their return and future transactions a simple process.
Retailers such as Zappos, Asos and Amazon, are prime examples of service offerings that cater to an individual’s needs and wants, simply from the collection of information of a consumers purchase history and browsing data.
The Survey’s findings offer businesses the following takeaways;
- Know your customer and form a genuine relationship
- Make it easy for your customers to do business with you
- Solve your customer’s problems and go beyond what is expected
- Look for opportunities to make an impression
- Invest in your frontline staff; they are of course the face of your company, so it is essential that they happily reflect the core values you wish to promote.