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Customer Service Matters: Research Shows How Support Impacts Sales

By Nima Patel

Customer Service Matters: Research Shows How Support Impacts Sales image customer service

One of the biggest mistakes companies can make is to not focus on improving their online customer support.

Just because customer support is usually the part that comes after the sale, it shouldn’t be an afterthought for any small ecommerce or wholesale business.

Below are the specific ways good and bad online customer support can impact sales and how you can implement a great customer support system for your small business.

Customer service impacts sales

Ever wondered if your wholesale (B2B) clients care about customer support? Well research jointly conducted by Dimensional Research and Zendesk shows they do and more so than your direct-to-consumer customers (B2C).

  • 62% of B2B and 42% of B2C customers purchased more after a good customer service experience.
  • 66% of B2B and 52% of B2C customers stopped buying after a bad customer service interaction.
  • Good or Bad – it’s all being talked about

    News travels fast. The same study shows 95% of people share bad experiences and 87% share good experiences:

    Customer Service Matters: Research Shows How Support Impacts Sales image Screen Shot 2013 12 12 at 12.56.41 PM

    This means great, memorable customer experiences are also incredible marketing tactics and referral generators.

    Few online retailers understand this better than Bonobos who has put an incredible amount of thought into their entire online customer support process.

    First, all of their customer support agents are called “ninjas”. You can ask them questions on their website, Facebook, and Twitter:

    Customer Service Matters: Research Shows How Support Impacts Sales image Bonobos Ninjas

    Interestingly, Co-founder and CEO Andy Dunn, says they got to a point of having awesome online customer support by having an amazing company culture first.

    “From the beginning we said let’s focus on building an unbelievable culture because that energy will transfer over to customers.”

    And they were right. By tackling customer support issues on social media, it allows them to respond to issues much faster than they could via email or support tickets. It also makes those conversations public so people can see them, share them and interact.

    Research shows 45% of people publicly share bad customer service experiences via social media and 30% share the good ones.

    The key here is to not treat a customer support issue as a problem to be solved; rather, a conversation which could serve as the starting point of a long-term relationship. Each of these opportunities is a new chance to impress, entertain, and give value back to your customer.

    Why you can’t delay…

    The ultimate payoff of good customer service is the long-term impact. When building a long-lasting brand, you’ve signed on for a lifetime of doing non-scaleable things in order to scale.

    The one-on-one plays matter just as much as your massive growth hacks.

    RJ Metrics’ recent 2014 Ecommerce Benchmark Report shows some interesting stats:

  • Your best customers spend 30x more than your average ones.
  • The typical online store gets 43% of revenues from repeat purchases.
  • The top 1% spend as much as the bottom 50% put together.
  • Your best customers spend 5x more per order than average.
  • Point is: Focus on building long-lasting relationships with your customers and you will see the financial return.

    Sometimes it’s these small scale tactics that compound over time and fuel major conversion enhancements like referral & affiliate programs.

    Consider this stat from Zendesk’s study: 39% of people continue to avoid vendors two or more years after a bad experience:

    Customer Service Matters: Research Shows How Support Impacts Sales image CustomerServiceBusinessResults 7

    Consumers have a long memory so it’s important to get started now.

    Don’t be scared to let your personality and humor show. Remember, you’re in the business of creating long-term relationships with your customers so think of their “problems” as opportunities to start a conversation and create a life long customer.