Service Boosts Sales by 9 Percent—American Express World Service's Keri Buster on CRM Research Findings
It's almost as if Johnny Mercer's lyrics are coming off of the report's page: "You've got to accentuate the positive/Eliminate the negative." Americans will spend 9 percent more with companies that provide "excellent service," and they're more apt to spread compliments than complaints. That's the upshot of the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, a survey the company released in July.
Keri Buster, vice president of corporate affairs and communications at American Express World Service, explains more about what the survey found while polling residents of the US and 11 other countries regarding their attitudes and preferences toward customer service.
Target Marketing: How should direct marketers change their customer relations management strategies in light of the finding that 75 percent of Americans are more likely to talk up good experiences vs. the 59 percent who will broadcast complaints about bad customer service?
Keri Buster: It's clear that the power of a good experience goes a long way. Customers expect better service in this economy. But, as the survey found, most believe that companies either fail to do anything extra to keep their business or even take their business for granted. So when customers have a good experience, they feel it's worth talking about.
This finding underscores the power of good customer service and thinking about service as part of the value a company provides to customers and clients. There is a great opportunity for companies to win advocates and, therefore, business when they get service right.
TM: Why do consumers become more skeptical online and why are other consumers more likely to believe an online criticism? How should direct marketers react short- and long-term?
KB: The Internet has made service quality more transparent than ever before. In the online space, positive recommendations are important; however, people give more weight to the negative. This could be due to the anonymity of sources online and the lack of credibility that consumers give to positive feedback online, since it can't be verified as easily.