Poor Customer Service, By the Numbers

Updated: July 30, 2009

The sample was 2,261 respondents, so the numbers are fairly respectable, and what they paint is the picture of an environment where customers take service very, very personally - as well they should. Taking a day off to wait for an installer means sacrificing some of the compensation from your job - and if the installer fails to show up, it's stealing time from you that you can never recoup.

Nearly half (49 percent) of Americans have waited for some form of service in their homes in the past six months. 82 percent say they wait on average at least 1 day per year in their homes for service or deliveries. 63 percent wait on average two or more days per year in their homes for service or deliveries.

Nearly one of in five consumers (18 percent) has lost wages (i.e., taken unpaid time off) to wait for the cable guy or some other service in their home in the past 6 months. Another 32 percent have taken a vacation day or sick time to wait for the cable guy or some other service in their home in the past six months

Of those waiting around, a vast percentage has been dissatisfied with how they've been treated. 18 percent of them have refused or cancelled a product/service because the service or delivery person was late or didn't show, and 29 percent have left their homes in frustration because the cable guy or delivery person was late. You don't need a degree in mathematics to see how corrosive this can be for the provider's bottom line.

And, while they're losing money, they're also losing customer loyalty. 57 percent say the company providing the service is at fault if the delivery/service is late or doesn't show; only 19 percent blames the actual driver or service technician.

Here's the damning part - and where companies should recognize the competitive value of customer service. 37 percent of consumers believe that the standard wait-window is 4-8 hours because companies "take advantage of the fact that people will most likely wait for the service/delivery because they want or need it," and 27 percent believe that service companies are just "not concerned about the customer's time."

Now, imagine the investments these companies have made in CRM for acquiring leads, selling to customers, and up-selling and cross-selling products to them. What is the ROI of all those things when a failed customer service experience alienates the customer? It's actually less than zero if it drives a new customer away.

Featured Research
  • 7 Ways Your CRM Helps Convert Leads

    Failure to convert interested leads can impact your bottom line drastically and simultaneously increase your operational costs and decrease your profits. The most common reason for this failure is lack of follow through from a sales team. Did you know that 74% of CRM users said that their CRM gave them improved access to customer data? And that by properly implementing a CRM, a business could shorten the sales cycle by 8 to 14%? more

  • Is Your CRM a Liability

    Is your CRM a liability? Before you answer too quickly with a no, just think about all the advancements that have taken place over the years regarding this technical solution. In fact, just in over the past decade there has been a dramatic shift away from on-premise systems to cloud based solutions. more

  • 12 Must-Have CRM Features

    Having a CRM is absolutely essential to any modern day business's success. In fact, 91% of companies with 11+ employees now utilize a CRM solution in their business. When making the decision to purchase or upgrade your CRM solution, it can be quite overwhelming determining which features are essential to your success versus those that pack more fluff than punch. more

  • Making the Case for a New CRM

    Did you know that having an outdated CRM is just as bad as not having one at all? Do you find yourself working even just a little too hard to make your current CRM work to maintain your contacts and relationships? While it is increasingly more difficult to reduce customer churn, modern CRM tools are much more powerful and provide much more opportunity to develop stronger relationships with your clients that can provide more stability and revenue to your company and bottom line. more

  • Don't Make These 10 CRM Mistakes

    Finding and buying a CRM is exciting. It is also quite daunting as you want to be as prepared as possible so as to avoid making a costly mistake. We have seen that many businesses fail when implementing a CRM, as they repeatedly make the same errors over and over again. more