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TMCNet:  Studies Reveal Consumer Reaction to Bad Customer Service

[November 06, 2007]

Studies Reveal Consumer Reaction to Bad Customer Service

Studies Reveal Consumer Reactions to Bad Customer Service

A recently released Harris Interactive (News - Alert) study confirms that a bad customer service experience with your company is enough to make a majority of consumers run for the hills. The study reported that 80% of 2,049 US adults surveyed decided never to go back to a business/organization after a bad customer service experience. The study clearly indicates that an organization's customer service level is a defining factor that will make or break a company.

Consumers have increasingly higher expectations of businesses and are willing to walk away quickly from a majority of businesses if they are not met. Although a business may be attracting new customers the key to growth is being able to retain your existing customers while attracting new customers. The Harris study reflects how great customer service can significantly contribute to a company's growth. Its findings indicated that 51% of consumers cited outstanding service as the reason that they continued to work with a company.

Many businesses fail to appreciate the value of customer loyalty and word of mouth exposure until it is to late. Interestingly, 74% of U.S. Adults indicated that they would file a complaint as result of their negative experience or tell others about their bad experience. In addition, 60% indicated that the main reason for recommending a company was “outstanding service”. A customer's negative experiences with your company's customer service can quickly turn your pool of potential customers into a dry well.

An especially important population that customer care departments should be looking at is Hispanics. A First Customer Rage Survey from Language Line Services & CCMC revealed that 90% of Hispanic customers who had a problem with a service or product were extremely or very upset with the problem and the handling of their problem. In addition, Hispanics were more likely to threaten to contact the media or seek revenge. The tremendous growth of the Hispanic population and their current buying power represents a significant potential customer pool that companies should address when developing their customer service strategies.

How do you then avoid becoming one of many companies whose customer numbers dwindle from bad customer service experiences. Here are several suggestions that will help make your customers' experiences with your company better:

*Have incentives in place for when things go wrong, and they always will.
Undoubtedly things will go wrong for some customers, no matter how much you try to make sure that every customer is pleased. The key to making sure that these customers remain and even become loyal to your company is to offer incentives that quickly resolve the problem
and compensate for any problems that the customer has experienced.

*Build a knowledge base of the problems that most frustrate customers and build solutions that can get the issue resolved on the first contact with the customer.
Although this might seem like a huge investment for some companies, this knowledge will pay for itself in the form of continuing customers.

*Make it easy for customers to deal with you
The harder you make their life the easier it will be for them to let you go and never come back. Most consumers lead busy lives with very little time to deal with problems that they have with a company. The ease with which a problem can get resolved for a customer on first contact without having to take additional steps, the more likely they will continue to work with your company.

*Respond to their concerns/questions quickly
The longer you take to respond to a customers concern or questions the less positive their impression will be of your company.

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