Guest Post by Keynote Speaker and New York Times #1 Bestselling Author on Leadership and Outstanding Customer Experience, Joseph Michelli
It’s official. Customer satisfaction has soured.
If you’ve waited for something delayed by “supply chain” back-ups or endured slow service due to “understaffing,” this finding from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) likely won’t surprise you.
Customer Satisfaction is at a 17-year low!
Here’s an ACSI graph showing the ups and downs of customer satisfaction dating back to 1995.
ACSI explains the journey of customer satisfaction:
In the 1990s, business focus on customer satisfaction was in its infancy and the satisfaction decline between 1994 and 1997 came at a time when profits were generated from efficiencies in production rather than from satisfied customers. As the profitability from customer satisfaction and customer retention became more apparent, except for the financial crisis in 2009, a long period of strong economic growth and increasing customer satisfaction followed. However, both economic growth and customer satisfaction began to flatten about a decade ago. Since 2019, there has been a sharp decline in customer satisfaction.American Customer Satisfaction Index
Why These Numbers Should Be Encouraging
Given that you likely want to elevate customer experiences, low customer satisfaction represents an opportunity for you to turn your competitors’ sour experiences (lemons) into sweetened interactions (lemonade). While supply chain problems may be ubiquitous, the way we treat our team members and customers remains a differentiator.
A recent Zendesk study titled “Customer Experience Trends 2022” offered 5 Traps that get in the way of establishing your customer-centric competitive advantage.
- Customer service isn’t wowing customers. 54 percent of customers report that customer service feels like an afterthought for most businesses.
- Leadership talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. 46% of companies don’t have a three-year strategic plan for customer service.
- Current investments aren’t enough to support a standout team. About one third of companies predict a 25 percent increase in customer engagement, but only 14 percent of them plan to raise their budgets by a similar margin.
- Customer service team members are burned out and feel undervalued. Taking all factors together, less than 30 percent of service professionals feel empowered to do their jobs well.
- Disjointed systems confuse customers and halt growth. Having a best-in class customer service team isn’t possible without the right tools in place.
So, what are you doing to ensure you are sidestepping the customer experience traps outlined by Zendesk and differentiating yourself at a time of customer satisfaction decline?
Given the challenges and headwinds involved in delivering outstanding customer experiences, the words of Jimmy Dean can be helpful:
I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Looking for an amazing keynote speaker to elevate the mindset and performance of your customer experience team? Click here to learn more about how Joseph Michelli can support you and complete the brief form to check availability and fees. Now is the time to turn your competitors’ lemons into your lemonade!