Customer experience is the predominant driver of business success. Your products and services need to be great – that’s a given – but longevity is about much more than that. What matters right there in the moment and in the longer-term, is how customers feel about the experience that you give them.

The ‘holy grail’ if you will, is an experience that’s so good that customers come back for more. Better still they become your brand advocates – recommending your products and services to family, friends and colleagues. These happy customers are also more likely to give you a testimonial or a 5-star review.

At the other end of the customer experience scale, customers will tell a woeful story of just how wrong you got it to anyone who will listen. This is where online reputation management will help you.

At worst, customers will complain about their experience on social media, and it will spread like wildfire, they’ll tell family, friends and colleagues and lambaste you via the press. In this article, Igniyte examines the real cost of bad customer experience to businesses and how both bad and good customer experience stories spread online. We look at some customer experience success stories and give 5 tips for building a reputation for great customer service and experience.

The cost of bad customer experience

People want a great experience and many brands pay lip service to it, but ultimately fail to provide it. The brands that do put customer experience first not only gain a great reputation for it, particularly through social media, reviews and forums, but they also soar to the front of consumers’ minds. Brands that focus on customer experience can go on to become some of the biggest brands in the world. Just look at Apple, Zappos and Emirates.

Failing to keep customers happy is a big concern particularly for company reputation, customer retention and performance. We often talk about the importance of employees in protecting company reputation – and they clearly have a big role in customer experience, but what does a bad experience cost?

Bad customer service cost businesses a staggering £37 billion in 2016, research from the Ombudsman Services found earlier in 2017. According to their survey, more than a quarter of consumers (28%) spent less with a company or took their custom elsewhere after receiving poor service.

The way a company manages complaints is costly, with 79% of people saying they’re unlikely to shop with a brand again if their issue is handled badly.

The Ombudsman Services survey also finds that customers are becoming more likely to speak up if they receive poor service. The number of complaints against British firms increased from 52 million in 2015 to 55 million in 2016. It’s clear that customers are no longer willing to settle for poor service.

Chief ombudsman Lewis Shand Smith says: “This research shows that much more needs to be done to make the customer ‘king’ from a customer service point of view. The problem is that 63% of consumers feel disillusioned and feel resigned to poor service, and no longer trust businesses to do the right thing.”

About Igniyte

Igniyte works with small, national and international companies around the world to build positive and lasting online reputations. We use best practice approaches, including social media tactics and trends, to help businesses reach their full potential.    

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