Live support, key of an endless satisfaction

Live support, key of an endless satisfaction

Every business manager knows that when a customer has a problem, the experience of resolving the issue has a profound impact on future purchases. This effect has been amplified as social media and web review sites enable customer service experiences to be widely shared with friends, colleagues, and the general public. But just how impactful are these customer service experiences on buying behavior and the lifetime value of a customer? How long does the effect last? And what is the impact for mid-sized companies?

The best customer service is fast

Participants were asked if they had experienced any good customer service interactions with mid-sized companies, and then asked the same question about bad customer service interactions.


Customer service has great impacts

The vast majority of participants recalled good experiences (95%). More than half (54%) reported having bad customer service experiences with mid-level companies. Survey participants who had indicated they had a good customer service experience were asked what specifically made that experience good. The most important factor cited by participants was a quick resolution of the problem (69%) followed by being helped by a pleasant person (65%). Interestingly, the actual outcome of the problem was least important with less than half (47%) indicating that their customer service interaction was good because of the outcome.

blogitp37The following report is based on a survey of 1046 individuals who have had experiences with the customer service of a mid-sized company. The survey’s main intent was to quantify the long term impact of customer service on business results. The survey was conducted by Dimensional Research, an independent market research company specializing in technology.

This survey clearly demonstrates that customer service has a dramatic impact on the buying behaviors among customers of mid-sized companies. Good customer service results in increased personal and business purchases while bad customer service drives customers to find alternatives. Interestingly, customer service experiences are judged more on the timeliness of the interaction than on the final outcome. Customer service has a long-term impact on buying decisions, with customers continuing to be effected years after the initial interaction. Customers share service interactions more widely than ever before. Social media and review sites are providing increased awareness of customer service experiences, and these stories influence the purchases of others.

Customer services experiences can be long lasting – especially bad ones

Participants were asked how long ago it was that these customer service experiences happened. In this question, they were asked specifically to think about that experience with the mid-sized B2B or B2C company whose good or bad customer service impacted their buying behavior. Bad customer service experiences were more long lasting. Over one third of participants, 39%, continued to change their buying behavior more than two years after the negative incident had occurred. Good customer service also resulted in long term impacts, with about one quarter (24%) saying that they continued to change their buying behavior based on a positive customer service incident that happened more than two years ago.


Participants who indicated that they had experienced good or bad customer service were asked who they had told about those experiences. These stories were widely shared, especially the bad experiences. More participants reported they shared stories about bad customer service (95%) than told about good experiences (87%). Stories were told most frequently in person to friends or family (81% for bad and 72% for good) or coworkers (57% for bad and 40% for good).
Participants also reported broad use of social media (45% for bad and 30% for good) and online review sites (35% for bad and 23% for good) to spread stories about customer service experiences.

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