Every business owner wants to give the best service possible to their customers, but sometimes, we overlook how important customer service is as we get caught up in the tasks it takes to run our business. Customer service is more in-depth than small business owners think, and in this day and age, is changing and evolving constantly. Customer service can make or break a business—and your reputation is truly one of the most important pillars of your business’s success.

Here are 10 customer service facts that will get you thinking about its importance and how you and your business can improve on your customer service interactions today.

Customer Service Statistics and Facts

Understanding customer service statistics and getting familiar with customer service facts will put you in and your business in the best position to ensure customer retention and a healthy ROI. These facts about customers will open your eyes to the very dramatic impact a poor customer experience can have on your business. Anticipating and relating how a customer feels is crucial.

1. Consumers are 2 times more likely to share their bad customer service experiences than their good ones. (Source: Salesforce.com)

This is a bit alarming, isn’t it? The customer service experience and how a customer feels about your company can affect your bottom line greatly. This can easily attribute to poor reviews.

2. 86% of consumers will leave a brand they were once loyal to after two to three bad customer experiences. (Source: Businesswire)

An unhappy customer typically has had a negative experience interacting with your business or a customer service representative. While there can be many different facets to the various customer service channels, it should be noted that the more individuals and hand-offs a customer is passed off to, the more frustrated they become. Keeping your customer service channels direct and timely will help meet customer expectations.

3. For every customer complaint, there are 26 other unhappy customers who have remained silent. (Source: Providesupport.com)

Some people don’t feel comfortable reporting their experience, others (see customer service fact number one) will turn to social media, Yelp, and other review sites to share their poor customer service experience with their friends, family and those perusing review sites. In fact, 97% of people read reviews for local businesses (BIA/Kelsey) and 93% of consumers say online reviews impact their purchasing decisions (Podium).

4. It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. (Source: Providesupport.com)

If you get the chance at all! Consumer choices are rapidly expanding, and it doesn’t take much for your customers to find someone else that can provide a similar service for them. Keep this in mind when you receive a customer complaint and do your best to listen with a compassionate ear.

5. By 2020, the customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Source: Fonolo.com)

This translates to the importance of the seemingly short interaction with the customer you will (or maybe won’t) have. This is another instance where reviews come in—3.3 is the minimum star rating that business consumers will likely engage with (Podium). Meaning it would take a quick glance at Google or a similar search engine to see if your business falls into the subpar star range. The customer will likely scroll past, not interacting with your business at all. Customers aren’t only willing to interact with a business that has positive reviews but will spend 31% more on a business with excellent reviews, too. (Invesp).

6. Customer Service Week is celebrated annually during the first full week of October. It first became a nationally recognized event in 1992. (Source: CSWeek.com)

This is an excellent opportunity to show both your customers and your employees your appreciation for their continued support and hard work. For customers, certain promotions could be recognized—for employees, gifts could be given. This ‘holiday’ celebrates the importance of customer service and of the people who serve and support customers on a daily basis. Check-in with the happiness of your employees and customers this week. This is a great time to reset or readjust your policies regarding customer and employee satisfaction.

7. The first known customer service complaint is inscribed on a clay tablet on display at the British Museum. Apparently, someone delivered copper that was the wrong grade. It was written sometime around 1750 B.C. (Source: OpenCulture.com)

The desire to get what you pay for has certainly been ingrained in us for centuries, but this really takes the clay tablet.

8. An estimated $41 billion is lost by U.S. companies alone each year due to poor customer service. (Source: SocialMediaToday.com)

That’s not all. 94% say an online review has convinced them to avoid a business (ReviewTrackers) and four out of five consumers have changed their minds about a recommended purchase after reading a negative online review (Cone Communications).

9. 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses. (Source: LiveHelpNow.com).

This would explain loyalty to certain businesses and brands, regardless of their prices. If a user sees three negative articles pop up while they’re doing their research for their purchase, making their way down the funnel, the potential for lost customers increases to 59.2%  (Moz). Customers are loyal to businesses they can trust. They support businesses they enjoy interacting with and as mentioned, will pay more for a more positive experience.

10. The 1-800 number was invented in 1967. Roy Weber, an AT&T scientist, is the man responsible for 1-800 Nation; he used still-evolving digital technologies to invent a way to offer national toll-free service. (Source: Fastcompany.com)

This was the beginning of modern-day customer service and it has greatly evolved since then—if these customer service facts and statistics haven’t proven so already! 

Customer service doesn’t only affect the retention of the consumer but affects the retention of employees as well and being aware of customer service statistics can help you stay ahead of the game. People want to work for companies that respect their customers and their employees. Don’t let something like a poor interaction with those who frequent your online store or brick-and-mortar property come between you, your reputation or business’s success.

A positive experience with your company is good for everyone involved and you can certainly enjoy the experience, too.

Join writer and small business owner Gene Marks each Wednesday on the Small Biz Ahead podcast.