5 Customer-Related Statistics Entrepreneurs Need To Care About


Whether you’re a new or serial entrepreneur, there’s so much to learn about the customers you’re seeking. Figuring out ways to scale your business should include focusing on the consumer and the long-term value they bring. Shifting commerce trends and a heavier reliance on technology means business owners need to put more emphasis on customer needs and wants.

Every year, businesses lose $41 billion due to bad customer service experiences. Some businesses will spend thousands on market research to target the right audience, but those efforts are futile if you’re unable to attract and keep them. These five customer-related statistics will help you focus your efforts in the right area, and keep your eyes on the prize: winning and keeping the customer.

Statistic #1: 68% of consumers believe that a business’ signage reflects the quality of its products or services. (FedEx)

This statistic reflects the importance of having well-designed signage for your storefront (conversely, well-designed websites build a trusted Internet presence). Your signage is the first thing consumers see, and not only will people base the quality of your products on this first impression, but studies show that consumers are more likely to remember and recommend a business based solely on its signage. Companies like http://www.landmarksignusa.com/ provide a range of different sign types and styles, and it’s important to weigh your options and add a sign that fits with your location. Your sign should also represent the brand aesthetic — the underlying look and feel you want your business to convey.  It’s best to work with a designer to create the right image and to gather professional and personal opinions on what works best.

Statistic #2:  77% of consumers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service. (Forrester Research)

How you approach your customer service principles affects your reputation. Malfunctions and misunderstandings happen, but it’s how your business handles those occurrences that really determine how your company is perceived. In many cases, when a business properly handles a customer service issue, it can lead to a positive review (or lack of a negative one). On the other hand, a bad customer service experience can not only lead to a negative review, but can also affect the company’s word-of-mouth referrals, which are especially important for local businesses.

Statistic #3: 88% of online consumers trust online reviews just as much as offline recommendations. (BrightLocal)

Over the last few years, trends have shown that online consumers are more heavily relying on online reviews, and consider them just as trust-worthy as personal recommendations. This is one of the primary reasons customer service should be succinct and highly accessible. Businesses should also solicit customer reviews by including review instructions in marketing materials.  For example, you may have noticed that on many customer service calls, you’re asked to participate in a customer service survey. This helps the business’s online reputation while allowing the business owner to properly understand the business’ current perception and value.

Alternatively, some businesses incentivize customers to write reviews by offering a promotional opportunity, such as the chance to win a discount or free item. Be aware that this is entirely different than paying for reviews, which is unethical and can get the business into legal trouble.

Statistic #4: Businesses with mostly 1 or 2 star reviews fail to convert 90% of consumers. (StarCounter)

If you’ve found yourself in an unfortunate position where your online reputation is tarnished, all hope isn’t lost. In some cases, you’re able to refute false or misrepresented reviews from information-sharing site, while in others, you can essentially lose the bad reputation by burying it deeper into search engine results when you create a new online reputation. For bigger situations, you can hire a reputation management firm to help get you back on track.

Statistic #5: 90% of consumers now expect a brand or organization to offer a self-service customer support portal. (Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report)

Having a support forum or FAQ can do wonders for your customer service. This saves the business time from having to speak with customers about general inquiries, and allows the customer to find a solution on their own. Aside from technical issues, consumers would rather figure something out on their own than have to speak with customer service. Build a list of frequently asked questions and continue to build onto that list as inquiries come in. Always keep an updated online support center where customers can browse and easily find what they need.


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