Social media venting may not be as accurate as it seems. According to the 2017 Customer Service Barometer by American Express, U.S. consumers are more satisfied than ever before with the service companies provide.

The study by American Express claims that at least 81 percent of Americans say businesses are either meeting or exceeding their customer service expectations. That is a huge leap from 67 percent in 2014.

At least 40 percent of consumers believe companies have increased their focus and attention in providing an excellent customer service experience.

“More companies are realizing that delivering great care is not just the right thing to do; it also makes great business sense. Seven in 10 U.S. consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that delivers great service…Service is an increasingly important competitive advantage for companies, both large and small, that make doing business easy and put their customers’ needs first.”

Raymond Joabar, American Express Executive Vice President of Servicing Organization

Millennials More Likely to Share Their Experience

84 percent of Millennials say that businesses are either meeting or exceeding their service expectations, which is five percentage points higher than older Americans.

The study also found that Millennials are more likely to share their positive experiences with friends and family than bad ones.

This phenomenon is in contrast to older generations that typically only share bad experiences.

Sellers who sell products more likely to be purchased by Millennials may want to consider after-the-sale engagement to encourage buyers to share their experience.

Good Service Key to Profits

Americans reward good service with loyalty, and U.S. consumers spend 17 percent more with companies from which they received excellent service.

As a group, Millennials are willing to spend the most for exceptional service (21% additional), followed by men (19%).

In contrast, bad service can become a significant cost on businesses.

33 percent of Americans say they will consider switching companies if the service did not meet their expectations after just a single instance of poor service.

For businesses, the stakes are high to provide excellent service. And a few Dollars spent to fix a problem, train staff, or improve product quality may directly translate into higher revenues and profits.

Social Media Impact

A growing number of shoppers are now using social media to ask assistance from businesses.

According to the study, at least 35 percent reported reaching out through several social channels. 84 percent said they received assistance or a response from a company, which is also significantly higher compared to 2014 when only 65 percent received a response.

For SMEs, it is easy to think of social media as push marketing and muting or ignoring inbound inquiries. The study suggests social media is a huge factor in the purchasing decision and responding quickly is a key to increasing conversion.

Chatbots can be part of this social media engagement, but never underestimate the power of a human response to more complicated questions.

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