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Customers sick of poor service - literally!

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7th Sep 2006
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Almost half of UK consumers say that they have been made physically ill by poor customer service.

According to research commissioned by RightNow, some 41 per cent of respondents sayd that they have had customer service experiences that have left them with headaches, tightening of the chest, flushed or simply shaking with anger.

"Stress shows itself in physical, emotional and behavioural ways and all of the reactions the respondents experienced are stress related," said Gladeana McMahon, co-director of the Stress Management Centre.

Bad service also does no favours to those around the recipients. Poor consumer experiences result in shouting, swearing, crying and even deliberately breaking things - although moaning about bad service remains the most popular option for most people - 55 per cent of respondents.

Cold calling is a particular irritation. Half of UK aduts reckons that they get at least one cold call a week, with more than three quarters of them left feeling angry, annoyed and stressed after such interactions.

Ironically more than half of respondents claimed that they would buy more from companeis if they were treated better - as well as reckoning that they would consider themselves calmer and happier. But two thirds of respondents thought that companies simply don't care are only concerned with making money, cited as a belief by 63 percent of people.

"It is disappointing that comapnies can affect their customers in this way and the onus should be on them to address it," said McMahon.

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