American Express Global Customer Service Barometer

American Express today released the results of a study they conducted with Echo Research titled, “American Express Global Customer Service Barometer.” Click on the link to access the report.

The study explores attitudes and preferences toward customer service, including data from the U.S. as well as eleven other countries.

Some of the findings surprised me:

“In fact, contrary to conventional wisdom, customers are more inclined to talk about a positive experience than complain about a negative one. Three-quarters (75%) are very likely to speak positively about a company after a good service experience in contrast with 59% who are very likely to speak negatively about a company after poor service.”

Previous studies have reported that customers are more inclined to talk about negative experiences than they are to talk about positive ones. I’m wondering if this new report indicates that excellent experiences have become so rare for customers that they have to share them with others.

Another finding reinforces the importance of building trust over time with customers:

"Importantly, consumers are far more forgiving if a company has earned their trust over time. Almost nine-in-ten consumers (86%) report they’re willing to give a company a second chance after a bad experience if they’ve historically experienced great customer service with that company."

This statement is true in my case. With an organization I trust because of their typically high level of service, I’m willing to forgive the occasional glitch in the experience. And because excellent companies usually recover well when they make a mistake, I often end up more loyal than before the mistake was made.

Potential actions to take:

  • Share the results of this report in your next team meeting. Discuss the implications for your own organization.
  • Send the report to others in your organization, letting them know how you are using the data.
  • Highlight some of the data points in your next employee newsletter.

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