21 Statistics To Get CEO Buy-In For Customer Service Projects

I worked for a national IT outsourcing company as a Service Operations Analyst. (Click here to read about how I increased their customer satisfaction survey response rate by 99.5%). As a result of my work, on the side, I began working on a customer experienced project based on the hospitality industry, tailored for the IT industry.

The realisation of this particular project would mean higher employee engagement, a serious edge over competitors, increased user satisfaction which would all translate into higher profits and customer retention.

What I found most difficult though, was to get buy-in for the project. Perhaps you also have a great project you know will reap many rewards, but you keep butting up against the powers that be…

CEO’s always need numbers. So give them! These should help:


78% consumers drop a transaction or intended purchase because of a poor service experience.

Insight: service experience can make or break your business.

Source: American Express Survey, 2011


Only 4% of dissatisfied customers actually voice their dissatisfaction. 96% simply keep silent.

Insight: people can’t be bothered; they will simply walk away and go to your competitor.

Source: “Understanding Customers” by Ruby Newell-Legner


There’s a 5 – 20% probability of selling to a new prospect as opposed to a 60-70% probability of selling to an existing customer.

Insight: spend more time and money selling to existing customers instead of finding new ones. Spend the same amount of effort keeping existing customers satisfied.

Source: Marketing Metrics


A poor customer service experience reaches more than twice as many ears than praise for a positive service experience.

Insight: go after the right kind of free word-of-mouth advertising.

Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs


It is 6 – 7 times costlier to gain a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.

Insight: do everything you can to keep existing customers.

Source: White House Office of Consumer Affairs


Consumers say that customer service agents fail to answer their questions 50% of the time.

Insight: find out what questions your customers are asking, and then based on their needs, give customer service agents training to enable them to answer questions satisfactorily.

Source: Harris Interactive


67% customers abandon a phone call after feeling frustrated that they could not talk to a real person.

Insight: have you actually measured how much using a VOIP is costing you instead of using real humans? Or if you can’t get away from VOIP, can you do things differently?

Source: American Express Survey, 2011


70% purchasing experiences are based on how the customer felt they had been treated.

Insight: business is all about emotion and feelings, contrary to popular belief.

Source: McKinsey


80% companies say they deliver exceptional customer service, but in reality, only 8% customers think these same companies deliver exceptional customer service.

Insight: there’s a great chance that you think your company provides excellent service when it doesn’t.

Source: Lee Resources


91% dissatisfied customers will not willingly do business with you again.

Insight: best you make customer service a priority.

Source: Lee Resources


84% of companies that work to improve the customer experience report an increase in revenue

Insight: there’s a reason that CX (customer experience) is predicted to price and product quality as a primary differentiator…

Source: CustomerThink


Acquiring a new customer costs on average, 6 times more than retaining an existing one

Insight: consider how hard it is to get new business, and how much it costs, as opposed to coming up with strategies to fulfill and delight current customers.

Source: Huffington Post


The top two reasons for losing customers:

1. Customers feel treated badly

2. Focusing on price instead of value

Insight: explore the reasons your customers may feel treated badly. You can only do something about it when you understand the reasons for their dissatisfaction. Always place emphasis on value over price.

Source: SmallBizAhead


More than 1 million people read customer service tweets every week, and about 80% of those tweets are negative or critical in nature.

Insight: monitor what customers are saying online about your company. Be quick to respond to any social media complaint.

Source: Touch Agency


94% online retailers provide email customer service but only 27% of email queries are answered.

Insight: rather don’t offer email customer service if you don’t have dedicated resources in place to respond effectively. Then again, email is more convenient for many people, so you better step it up and get email services processes in place.

Source: Zak Stambor, Internet Retailer


The majority of the largest 100 Internet retailers respond to emails within 17 minutes, but some are known to respond within 48 seconds and 5 minutes.

Insight: the largest retailers “get it”. It’s no wonder they are in the top 100…

Source: Internet Retailer/STELLAService


83% small and medium-sized companies respond to emails with inaccurate or incomplete answers.

Insight: one of the greatest reasons for this is not reading emails properly, and lack of care about responding to the customer’s need.

Source: “Email Customer Service in North American Small and Medium Businesses” by BenchmarkPortal


41% consumers expect an e-mail response within six hours, but only 36% retailers respond within that timeframe.

Insight: have a dedicated resource to respond to emails.

Source: Forrester Research Inc.


The top 4 companies rated as providing excellent service:

  1. Apple
  2. Disney
  3. Zappos
  4. Amazon

Insight: if you want to provide exceptional service, study what these companies are doing and copy them.

Source: Spigit


A measly peasly 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10%.

Insight: it’s cheaper to retain and woo a customer than it is to cut costs.

Source: Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy


Customers who rate their service experience a “5” compared to a rating of 4.8 on a rating scale of 1 to 5 are 6 times more likely to buy from you again.

Insight: customer satisfaction survey ratings tell a story!

Source: TeleFaction data research


There is so much proof that good customer service experiences save costs and increase revenue, that I remain confused as to why most companies still couldn’t be bothered to put in more effort to retain and woo existing customers.

What are your suggestions for getting executive and CEO buy-in for customer service projects? Leave a comment below!

Author: Claire
Not just a writer, Claire specialises in increasing your website traffic and online sales through the use of smart, search engine optimised content that is targeted towards a certain audience. She specialises in compiling online content for SaaS, Telecoms, small business and marketing. Claire comes from a background in marketing and service operations analytics focusing on the customer experience.