According to a study by Dimensional Research on The Impact of Customer Service on Customer Lifetime Value, it turns out that elephants aren’t the only ones who never forget! Customers are right there with them, especially if it has to do with a BAD experience!

After defining good and bad customer service experiences (referenced in previous posts in this blog series), customers were asked to define the length of time following the experience that their buying habits were altered.

Here are the results:

Good Experience Effect

  • 64% Less than one year
  • 12% One year
  • 24% Two years or more

Bad Experience Effect

  • 47% Less than one year
  • 14% One Year
  • 39% Two years or more

More telling … WHO were impacted most even after two years:

  • 79% of those with income over $150K
  • 52% Business to Business
  • 39% overall

What nuggets are in these numbers for YOU and YOUR business? If you are doing well in customer service, GREAT. But don’t rest on your laurels—your customer is too busy to remember ‘good’ experiences. If you have upset a customer, do all you can NOW to make it right. Nearly half of customers will remember your screw up for 2 years or longer! If you serve high end consumers BEWARE… they have very LONG memories. Likewise if you are selling a B2B product. Sales can be dramatically impacted as was discussed in our last blog post. And is it a surprise to anyone that women have a longer memory?! Here’s the scary thing folks… think about the last time you were gathered at a party or a business convention telling stories. The BAD stories make for good tales and entertainment. Don’t let your business be the subject of an entertaining story about BAD service told for years after the encounter to your potential customers!