Silence in Customer Service Costs You Big

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.

  1. Assume the best. It’s possible they’re unaware of what they’re doing. Begin as a curious friend.
  2. Talk tentatively. Describe the problem with, “I’m not sure you intended this . . .”
  3. Start with facts. Conclusions are possibly wrong and also create defensiveness. Share the facts first.
  4. 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.

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