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Infographic: Why Bad Customer Service Bleeds Your Company Dry

“Have it your way,” has been Burger King’s motto on-and-off for the past three decades. No matter what you think about the food (my thoughts: great french fries, and great memories eating their chicken sandwich growing up) the slogan is a classic. It orients Burger King, its 34,000 employees, and its nearly 13,000 franchised restaurants, towards a common goal: treat the customer right.

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It’s also malleable – like when you want to get edgy with ads like this: 
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But I digress. This blog post isn’t a dissertation about fast-food hamburger advertising, but about customer service. Obviously, every company pays lip service to to the idea of making their customers’ experience great. But lots of things get in the way. The need to cut costs, or be efficient with finite resources. 
Tradeoffs are a normal part of business. But the costs of poor customer service have traditionally been underappreciated, because they used to be indirect, hard to measure, and took place over a long time (longer than the typical executive tenure, anyway). 
Today companies better understand the costs and benefits of their customer service strategy, due to things like Net Promoter Scores and concepts like Customer Lifetime Value (the subject of a 200-page Avaya book arriving in July – watch this space). Data increasingly shows that high-effort, tiring experiences drive customers away.
Take this survey released today by Harris Interactive and sponsored by Avaya. 66% of the 2,100 U.S. adults surveyed by Harris said that they will leave companies that make getting customer service “high effort.” 37% say they  are extremely likely to leave. 
That begs the question: what’s high effort? And what are the benefits of reducing customer service friction? I don’t want to give away too much of the interesting findings revealed by the infographic below, but suffice to say that the numbers are clear: treat your customers better and you’ll reap the financial rewards. You can download the hilarious, Dinosaur Office-themed infographic  (created by our intern Asher Powell) by right-clicking and saving on the image, or click here to download a multi-page PDF that you can print on 8.5 x 11 paper.
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Eric Lai is Editorial Director at Avaya. He joined Avaya in Nov 2012 from SAP, where his enterprise mobility blog attracted more than 100,000 readers a month and was awarded Top Corporate Blog by BtoB Magazine. Prior to SAP, Eric was a technology editor and reporter for a decade and a half in Asia and the U.S. He is based at Avaya headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif. Follow him on Twitter @ericylai. more

7 comments
Patrick Strahan
Patrick Strahan

Great infographic! Love the Dino theme. How about the fact that oftentimes, customers are put on hold for a rather long period of time? I'm sure quite a few have nightmares about the on-hold music of whichever company they tried to reach.

Darin
Darin

Good customer service also should revolve around giving the customer what they have paid for, constant boundary pushing brought on by competition can often mean that customers get far more than they effectively paid for, this can also lead to poorer customer service due to unreasonable expectations. good service or over service??

Jaclyn Hiebert
Jaclyn Hiebert

I really don't understand business who doesn't give so much effort in their customer service, the fact that it's the key to company's success. Bad service experience can lose a big profit, unhappy customers tell stories, and that will soon cost your business. With a better interactions and competent staff, this will reward you loyal customers and great opportunity. Don't wait for someone to post a bad review on www.takethisjoborshoveit.com, and lose more customers.

Cheyserr
Cheyserr

I really liked the info-graphics, really funny but sadly, it's true most of the time. Customers already risked too much by trusting and patronizing your brand and reaching your customer service line should not be an added burden to them. In today's technology, we have a lot of CRM software's' that would give us a lot of data about customer engagement, let's take for example the rise of cloud based software's. But no matter how big the data is, if companies don't know how to interpret those data's and put them into action, it's still useless. Customers will still continue experiencing horrible customer service.

Joe McFadden
Joe McFadden

Reducing customer effort is critical to improving the customer experience. You don't to make it hard for someone to do business with you; it's hard enough to get business as is!

cindy penn
cindy penn

Customers are company's greatest assets. Without customer, company won't succeed. Most of the time, customer chooses company with great service. Therefore, it is important that all companies must implement great customer service in order to attract more customers.

Eric Lai
Eric Lai

No legitimate business consciously wants to give bad customer service, yet it's so easy to fool yourself into thinking you're doing a good-enough job. Yet, when it's well-known that keeping customers is far cheaper than winning them, it's crazy that companies don't invest more. I guess it's all related to the mentality that spawned the expression "The best defense is a good offense," rather than vice-versa.