Lately I’ve been thinking about the value and importance of customer service. I must admit I’ve never had a horrible experience, and maybe that makes me one of the lucky ones, but a recent conversation with an eWeek reporter made me wonder: how bad is it really? There have been countless studies about why customer service is so bad including a simple lack of knowledge, the inability to effectively communicate, etc. The list can go on and on, but how does this really affect us as consumers?
A recent study by my client RightNow Technologies conducted with Harris Interactive tried to find out just how bad a poor customer experience can affect us, both mentally and physically. The results may surprise you. For example, according to the survey of 2,048 adults, 90% said they had a negative experience and interestingly enough, 29% said they had sworn, 21% had shouted, 21% had gotten a headache, 6% felt their chest tighten, 5% have cried, and 3% have broken something.
Do these results surprise anyone but me? Again, maybe this is because I haven’t had an extremely horrible experience, but I know one thing: a good experience will keep me coming back. Take JetBlue (I know I don’t need to go into details about what happened to them). I’ve always enjoyed the service provided by the airline. Yes, you get the bad experience here and there, but the good has always outweighed the bad. As a frequent JetBlue customer, I look at it this way. Of the 15-20 positive experiences, I’ve had 1-2 bad experiences. Are those 1-2 bad experiences going to make me angry and annoyed, of course, but the 15-20 positive experiences are going to make me happy and want to return for another experience. Customer service is like the old cliché, take the good with the bad.