VitalSmarts research uncovered a crisis of silence in customer service. Specifically, each employee who witnesses bad customer service and fails to speak up costs the company an average of $54,511 per year.
What’s worse, only 7% of employees can be counted on to speak up when witnessing an incident of poor customer service—despite the fact that 66% say they are capable of helping solve the customer’s problem.
The study also found:
- A typical employee witnesses 19 poor customer-service incidents per year.
- Those incidents result in a 17% drop in revenue annually per customer.
- 75% of business-to-consumer (B2C) customers said poor service negatively affects the business they do with that company by 50% or more—vs. 42%of business-to-business (B2B) customers.
The good news is that organizations can recoup these costs by creating a culture where employees feel empowered to speak up and confront incidents of poor service.
6 Tips for Speaking Up in Customer-Service Interactions
1.Talk face-to-face. Speak in person and privately.
- Assume the best. It’s possible they’re unaware of what they’re doing. Begin as a curious friend.
- Talk tentatively. Describe the problem with, “I’m not sure you intended this . . .”
- Start with facts. Conclusions are possibly wrong and also create defensiveness. Share the facts first.
- Ask for others’ views. Ask if they saw the issue differently. 6.Use equal treatment. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect, regardless of title or position.