The Good, Bad & Ugly: The Impact of Customer Service [Infographic]

3 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

Got negative reviews? Think that you have them under control? Zendesk has released results from a recent study, which reveals the negative impact that the rise in social media and web review sites, like Yelp, have on a business' bottom line. 

Buying Decisions Impacted by Customer Service

For businesses, the study points out the long-lasting impacts social media has when companies fail to provide a positive customer service experience. With almost 90% of consumers buying decisions influenced by online customer service reviews, it’s hard to ignore.  

The report, Customer Service and Business Results: A Survey of Customer Service from Mid-Size Companies, summarizes the experiences of 1,046 individuals with the customer service of a mid-sized company. The goal was to quantify the long term impact of customer service on business results and what it found, while not surprising, aims to further emphasize the importance of good customer experience. 

Customer service has a dramatic impact on the buying behaviors among customers of mid-sized companies. If the service is good, the result is an increase of personal and business purchases while bad customer service drives customers to find alternatives. Perhaps most interesting is that customer service experiences are judged more on the timeliness of the interaction than on the final outcome. 

The Customer Experience & The Bottom Line

Let’s get down to details. 

  • Participants ranked customer service as the #1 factor impacting vendor trust
  • 62% of B2B and 42% of B2C customers purchased more after a good customer service experience
  • 66% of B2B and 52% of B2C customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction
  • 88% have been influenced by an online customer service review when making a buying decision

For as much as we emphasize good customer service, the impact of bad customer service is nearly the same -- of course, with opposite results. What this also shows is that bad reviews can sway users just as significantly as good reviews. 

Learning Opportunities

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But what do we mean by good customer service? For 69% a good customer service experience led to quick resolution of their problem, while 72% blamed their bad customer service interaction on having to explain their problem to multiple people. Both of these speak to the need for companies to integrate offline and online touch points so that customer service can be streamlined in favor of the customer. 

Furthermore, the report results demonstrate the lasting impact of good customer service. Twenty-five percent of consumers continue to seek out vendors two or more years after a good experience, while 39% continue to avoid vendors two or more years after a bad experience. These findings make it crystal clear that you only get once chance to make a first impression. 

Nothing in this survey is surprising. As consumers we all want the same things. So put yourself in your customers shoes and make it your number one goal to deliver, fast, reliable, convenient customer service.