15 Actionable Customer Service Statistics You Should Know in 2017

By Colin Newcomer

You probably have preconceived notions when it comes to customer service. But have you ever stopped and looked at what the actual customer service statistics are telling you about how to better support your customers?

Do you know the real metrics that delight your customers and turn them into loyal promoters of your business? Or that more and more customers want the tools to help themselves rather than relying on phone support for help?

To help you stop guessing and start knowing, we tried to collect the most relevant customer service statistics that you need to know. And because we know accuracy is important, we made sure to provide a direct link for each source so that you can judge the veracity for yourself.

9 General Customer Service Statistics to Shape Your Strategy

The following customer service statistics deal with customer service as a cohesive experience, illustrating the importance of customer service on your business’ bottom line and how can you better support your customers.

While there are some general customer service statistics, we tried to bias the list towards stats that are actually actionable.

 

1. Good Customer Service Really Does Mean Loyal Customers

97% of consumers say that customer service is an important factor in their loyalty to a brand. – Source

Takeaway: Maintaining loyal customers is easier than acquiring new customers. Great customer service helps you do that.

While there a number of statistics that illustrate this point, we’ll stop at just one because it’s not an especially contentious topic. That is, we doubt you need us to tell you that customer service is important.
 

2. Customers Care More About Solved Problems Than Being “Delighted”

Customers care more about solving their problems quickly and easily than they do being “delighted” – Source

Takeaway: Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to explode your budget trying to “delight” customers. Quickly solving their problems without requiring much effort from them is delightful enough by itself.

One suggested method to accomplish this is not only answering a customer’s current question but also heading off potential future questions connected to their issue.

 

3. Customers Don’t Want to Be Passed Around or Feel Like They’re Doing All The Work

To emphasize the previous takeaway, give these customer service stats a look. They showcase the frustrating barriers customers experience when trying to get help.

44% of customers think it takes them more effort than the brand they’re getting help from to solve problems. – Source

The two most satisfying aspects of a customer service experience are:

  • Not having to repeat themselves or be passed to another agent (39%)
  • Having their problem resolved on first contact (24%)

Source

Takeaway: Customers want problems resolved as easily and quickly as possible. That is what delights them. Make it easy for them to get help without bouncing them around or requiring multiple conversations.

 

4. Customers Will Pay More for Better Customer Service

45% of consumers are willing to pay a higher price for goods and services if it results in better customer service. – Source

RightNow found an even higher number in their survey, with 86% of consumers saying they’d pay more for better customer service. – Source

Takeaway: There’s room for companies with amazing customer experiences to charge more than companies that don’t emphasize customer support.

 

5. B2B Customers Value Customer Service Even More

62% of B2B customers “purchased more after a good customer service experience”, compared to 42% of B2C consumers. – Source

Takeaway: While both numbers are worth considering, it’s interesting that B2B customers are even more willing to purchase more based on good customer service.

 

6. Customers Value Speed Over Thoroughness

33% of those surveyed say they’d recommend a brand that offered a “quick but ineffective response” compared to only 17% who said the same for a “slow but effective solution” – Source

Takeaway: While the best option is obviously to offer fast and effective support, it’s interesting that speed of response is more important than quality. Don’t leave your customers waiting.

Note – This survey dealt specifically with social media customer service.
 

7. Good Customer Service Gets You More Customers

55% of those surveyed “became a customer of a company because of [the company’s] reputation for great customer service” – Source

Takeaway: Customer service isn’t just a retention expense – it can actually get you new customers if you build a reputation for offering quality customer service.

 

8. Customers Share Bad Experiences Wider and More Often Than Good Experiences

54% of respondents shared bad experiences with more than 5 people, while only 33% shared good experiences with more than 5 people. – Source

Takeaway: You’ve probably already noticed this in real life, but people are more willing to share the bad than the good. For that reason, you need to do as much as possible to stop negative customer experiences from derailing your reputation.

 

9. Customers Want a Response Within 24 Hours

67% of consumers want a response to their customer service questions within 24 hours. – Source

Takeaway: Once again, we see that speed matters. Don’t make your customers wait around to hear back from you. Structure your support processes so that you can get responses out within 24 hours whenever possible.

6 Statistics About Using a Knowledge Base for Customer Support

The following customer service stats deal specifically with creating a high-quality knowledge base or other self-service solution to help your customers quickly find answers to their problems.
 

10. Your Customers Don’t Want to Call You

Phone use for customer service has been decreasing over the past six years, with customers opting to handle support via self-service more and more. – Source

Takeaway: Customers don’t want to rely on phone calls for day-to-day customer service issues, instead preferring “straightforward customer service interactions via self-service”. Use a knowledge base or FAQ to give them a chance to solve the problem before hopping on the phone.

 

11. Knowledge Base and FAQ Use is Rapidly Increasing

In 2012, 67% of US adults used a FAQ or knowledge base on a company’s website. As of 2015, that number increased to 81%. –Source

Takeaway: More than ever, customers are willing to use self-service help channels to get the support that they need. If you make it easy for customers to help themselves, you can cut down on your live support costs. Check out this post for some quality knowledge base examples.

 

12. Most Customers Want to Help Themselves

53% of survey respondents thought “it is important for them to resolve their own product / service problems rather than rely on customer service representatives”

That number grew to 60% for those aged between 18 and 34. – Source

Takeaway: Most of your customers are happy to help themselves if you provide them with the resources to do so. 53% is not a dominating majority, though, so you still need to make it easy for customers to contact you.

 

13. Yes, Your Customers Are Willing to Use a Knowledge Base

91% of those surveyed would “use a single, online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs.” – Source

Takeaway: If you provide a quality knowledge base, the vast majority of your customers are willing to use it before asking for help. That means you can cut down on redundant queries by structuring your knowledge base well.

 

14. While Customers Are Willing, Most Companies Aren’t Creating Truly Helpful Knowledge Bases

Only 37% of those surveyed “try to use self-service options” because those options are perceived as “inaccurate or incomplete” – Source

Takeaway: Just because customers are willing to use your knowledge base doesn’t mean it’s automatic. You still need to create a quality, accurate, and complete resource. To do that, have an actual content plan for your knowledge base and write high-quality knowledge base articles.

 

15. Customers Love Easy Access to Information

55% of consumers fall in love with a brand when that brand offers “easy access to information and support” – Source (Slide 5)

Takeaway: Your customers appreciate when your knowledge base makes it easy to find information (and get human support if needed). Make sure to measure the effectiveness of your self-help content to ensure it’s actually working, though.

Use These Customer Service Statistics To Improve Your Processes

Customer service is non-negotiable. You need to support your customers if you want to be successful. Because customer service is a non-negotiable business expense, you need to look for ways to deliver the best customer service possible without wasting time and money.

Using these customer service statistics can help you become more analytical in your customer service approach. For example, self-service options like a knowledge base or FAQ not only save you human support time, they’re also backed by real data.

And finally, remember that the key to quality customer support isn’t dishing out lavish discounts to “delight customers,” it’s solving their problems as quickly as possible with as little friction as possible.

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