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How your customers love to shout about bad experiences

18th Jun 2014
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Get your customer experience wrong in today’s marketplace, and you’ll be sorry. How do we know that? Because your consumers will make sure of it.

A recent research project from contact centre solution specialist, NewVoiceMedia, has revealed just how hard UK customers are fighting against poor service. Almost three quarters (73%) are standing up for themselves in the face of big brands more than they were a decade ago.

That means that 57% wont hesitate to give poor-performing businesses the undesirable feedback they so rightly deserve. Perhaps even less desirable for an organisation though, is to have the complaint bought to the attention of others (that is, your potential customers), via social media. This is an option that over third (37%) are more than willing to exploit.

When providing feedback, most customers simply want to vent and get their gripes off their chest. However, more than one in ten think that it’s the perfect opportunity to put others off becoming a customer, and 4% will go out, all guns blazing, with intent to actually tarnish your company’s reputation. 

Social media, it seems is a virtual pin-board of complaints, with about half of consumers using it to communicate feedback on service. They do this for a number of reasons according to the report: almost a quarter (24%) cite convenience; 20% do it because they think it’s going to reach a wide audience; and 16% feels it’s simply the most effective way to drive the business to respond.

Funnily enough, over all, it’s the more mature consumers, the 55 and overs, who are most likely to bring disappointing experiences to the attention of the companies in question, with 61% wasting no time in having it out with them. However, with the bad comes the good, as this age group are also the most likely to recognise a positive experience by thanking a brand for their good service. This figure is obviously slightly less at 37%, though. 

When it comes to Millennials, just one in five will lodge a complaint about a poor experience, motivated by the potential of receiving some form of compensation, while 6% will do it just to get some attention on social media.

Martin Hill-Wilson, customer experience and social business strategist, commented on the findings: “Customer feedback, whether delivered privately as most respondents still do, or publicly for others to witness, should of course receive equal attention and subsequent action. But there is growing belief and some evidence that organisations become more motivated to improve their customer service when it is on show via a social network.

“As it stands today, 73% of UK consumers are standing up for customer service standards more than 10 years ago and 39% have higher expectations for service, with just 8% claiming to have lower expectations. Clearly the investment of turning customer feedback into actionable insight and sustainable service improvements is still being made. In the age of social engagement this is something all organisations should consciously prioritise”.

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