Providing Excellent Customer Service

Time: 8 Minutes

Customer Service Overview

Americans are placing an even greater premium on quality customer service. Seven in 10 Americans (70 percent) are willing to spend an average of 13 percent more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service. This is up substantially from 2010, when six in 10 Americans (58 percent) said they would spend an average of 9 percent more with companies that deliver great service.

But despite the greater value Americans are placing on customer service, many businesses don’t seem to be making the grade with consumers.

  • In fact, six in 10 Americans (60 percent) believe businesses haven’t increased their focus on providing good customer service – up from 55 percent in 2010.
  • Among this group, 26 percent think companies are actually paying less attention to service. (2011)


These findings were released recently in the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, a survey conducted in the U.S. and nine other countries exploring attitudes and preferences toward customer service.


"Getting service right is more than just a nice to do; it’s a must do," said Jim Bush, executive vice president, World Service. "American consumers are willing to spend more with companies that provide outstanding service, and they will also tell, on average, twice as many people about bad service than they are about good service. Ultimately, great service can drive sales and customer loyalty."

Service can make or break brands

Americans vote with their wallets when they encounter subpar service; 78 percent of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of a poor service experience. On the other hand, the promise of better customer service is a draw for shoppers: three in five Americans (59 percent) would try a new brand or company for a better service experience.

Yet Americans feel most companies are failing to get the message that service matters. Nearly two-thirds of consumers feel companies aren’t paying enough attention to service:

  • Two in five (42 percent) said companies are helpful but don’t do anything extra to keep their business.
  • One in five (22 percent) think companies take their business for granted. (2011)


Modern customer service advocates must be better educated and skilled in their profession to foster a better customer experience and reduce negative impacts which can impact the company bottom line.


Activity #1: Review Dan Conner’s video on phrases which will help you to gather your thoughts and gain composure when dealing with challenging customers.