The High Cost of Poor Customer Experience

Desk with balance sheets

Examine any point along your customer's journey and identify touchpoints where—in some cases—you can make simple improvements that show massive results. But as with any initiative to create improvement, there is expense. Expense in time, human capital and funds. It can be challenging to make the case to senior leadership, especially your CFO.

Sell Me Your Best

In sales they say that it's easier to sell someone out of something than into something. This aligns with some approaches that train sales professionals to acquaint their prospect with the "pain" that the prospect is experiencing. How that pain will only get worse if they don't fix the problem. "How much longer are you willing to lose X dollars or Y time before you fix this problem?" they say in a convincing tone. The best salespeople are experts at balancing relationship building with this pain-point sales technique. The prospect is quick to realize that nothing will change if they don't buy. They want out of the pain they are experiencing, not into the product or service the salesperson is selling.

This can work equally as well with your CFO when you're trying to persuade senior leaders of the value of creating a great customer experience. Some may refer to them as scare tactics, when really what you're doing is being a good salesperson. You are serving them by acquainting them with the potential realities they may face if they choose not to invest in improving your customer's experience.

Numbers Don't Lie, Especially to the CFO

In Customer Experience for Dummies, these statistics may help you make your case, as they are quantitative evidence of how poor customer experience can hurt your bottom line:

  • Studies suggest that failing to deliver a high-quality customer experience can result in an erosion of your company's customer base by as much as 50% over a five-year period
  • After enduring a poor customer experience, 88% of consumers do business with a competitor
  • Poor customer experience has caused 78% of consumers to bail on a transaction
  • Given the opportunity, 60% of Americans would try a new brand for a better service experience
  • Dissatisfied customers are mouthy—witness: some 13% of dissatisfied customers tell more than 20 people of their bad experience, while 61% tell between 5 and 7

To get more fodder to build your case for leadership, check out Help Scout's compilation of 75 Customer Service Facts, Quotes & Statistics. You'll find a variety of statistics that leadership can't ignore.

There's Little Doubt Left

We've all experienced it first-hand when we—as customers ourselves—are dissatisfied or have a bad experience. Depending on the history we've had with the company, we may write it off as, "Oh, they were having a bad day," or we may be as dramatic as leaving that company for a competitor and venting negative reviews across social media.

The proof is apparent. You likely see it in your own organization. Start from the beginning with the right metrics, identify and track customer behaviors and work the process of improvement. It'll be that much easier to make the case and convince leaders of the high cost of poor customer experience with your own set of metrics. Sell them out of poor customer experiences and into more market share, increased revenue and happy advocates that rave and refer your organization to others.