Yes, you would. That’s the conclusion of the fifth annual Customer Experience Report from Harris Interactive.
An overwhelming majority — 85 percent — said they would be willing to pay more than the standard price of a good or service to ensure a superior customer experience.
Before I continue, a warning to any business reading this: That doesn’t mean your customers are stupid.
For example, my Honda dealership in Orlando recently decided to become like Saturn and refuses to negotiate with customers on the price of its cars. It thinks if it can provide better service, customers will be happy to pay the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, which is wildly inflated.
Well, you know what P.T. Barnum said? What he should have added was that there was a finite number of suckers out there.
And we all know what happened to Saturn.
So the real question is: How much more?
• 55 percent would pay 10 percent or more
• 27 percent would pay 15 percent or more
• 10 percent would pay 25 percent or more
This applies to companies like Southwest Airlines and Virgin America, which offer a premium product (better in-flight entertainment or luggage flies free) in exchange for a modest markup.
Got that? A modest markup.
Among some of the other findings …
✓ Nearly all consumers (82 percent) have stopped doing business with an organization as a result of negative experience and most (75 percent) do not return.
✓ Almost all consumers (95 percent) have taken action as a result of a negative experience and 75 percent told others about it.
✓ 55 percent of consumers became customers of a company based on its reputation for great customer service, and 40 percent of consumers have switched to a competitive brand simply because of its reputation for exceptional service.
Greg Gianforte, the chief executive officer of RightNow, which commissioned the study, sums it up:
By focusing on delivering exceptional experiences, businesses have the opportunity to grow their customer base, improve brand loyalty and increase overall revenue.
Truer words were never spoken. But remember: Customers aren’t dummies, when it comes to service and price.
The good people at Saturn, who wind down their operations this month, already know that.