82% of customers share bad experiences

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A new service ranking reveals that whilst 55% of your customers would share a good experience if something goes wrong 82% of consumers tell others about bad experiences. With the news that Google have added Zagut rankings to Google+ Local pages (the replacement for Google Places) it’s more important than ever to give consistently good service.

There is some good news though, when buying a product or service worth £500, 53% of respondents would be willing to pay a premium, with 44% paying up to 9% more, and 9% paying 10% or more, on average respondents are willing to pay a 2.9% premium for good service.

Cognito and YouGov polled 2,084 adults (opens in .pdf) who chose John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Amazon as the top three companies they believed are best when it came to customer service. Overall 59% of consumers appear willing to pay a premium for products or services where they believe they are likely to receive good service.

So how does this relate to eBay and your own website (I’m excluding Amazon as they’re already number 3 on the top service list and consumers don’t generally differentiate between buying from Amazon or buying on Amazon from a 3rd party). Well firstly the obvious service elements are speed of dispatch, speed of delivery, tracking, communications and costs.

With eBay’s push to free postage over the past few years many sellers are offering the worst possible delivery experience with no tracking and a slow service – low cost does equal cheap! Royal Mail’s 2011 Delivery Matters report (opens in .pdf) revealed that online tracking is increasingly important to consumers with 80% of the UK’s online shoppers like to receive updates at every stage of delivery. Only 67% said that free delivery was the most important delivery factor, down from 73% in 2010. The first thing you should consider is offering quality delivery services at least as an option, if not instead of the cheapest slowest service.

Communications is vital and always has been, however eBay are helping here by giving an automatic 5 star DSR rating if not communications take place (or rather eBay handled the basic communications for you and the customer didn’t contact you for additional pre or post sales information).

Costs are important, but as shown by the Cognito/YouGov report customers will pay a little extra for service. If your eBay feedback is great or on your website you have good customer reviews the chances are customers will be more than willing to pay a premium for your service.

The only challenge remaining on eBay is how to get your products to the top of Best Match if you’re not the cheapest. Regardless how good your feedback is or how much eBay give a boost in search for being a Top Rated Seller or for offering a free postage option price still appears to be the most important factor. If you’re cheapest you get sales and the more sales you get the higher up Best Match you appear.

Price has been the biggest factor in online sales for years, in the future consumers may be willing to pay a little more for service. If you’re wondering what to expect from eBay it’s worth remembering that to be a Top Rated Seller in the US you already have to ship 90% of your eBay sales on a tracked delivery – expect to see eBay concentrating more on service metrics in the future and incentivising sellers to improve their service.

One Response

  1. Feedback – On every site except ebay I leave genuine feedback. On ebay I don’t.

    Why is this?

    Because in the world of ebay a 98% positive score is a failure which I think is unfair. And because I think it is unfair I leave a 5***** positive all the time as a protest vote regardless of service etc.

    There are probably many ebay buyers like me who feel the same way.

    And in any case how can you tell the whole story, if there is one to be told, in 80 characters?

    Apple has got their app store feedback system spot on in my view. A single overall rating and space for a few lines if this is required. And feedback is entirely optional. There is no pressure to offer it.


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