Consumers twice as vocal about bad customer experiences than they are good ones

Consumers twice as vocal about bad customer experiences than they are good ones

According to the third annual Customer Experience Impact Report, a study sponsored by RightNow Technologies and conducted by Harris Interactive, outstanding service remains the top reason consumers will recommend a company (selected by 53% of respondents), but consumers are even more likely to tell others about poor treatment following a negative customer experience – 74% of respondents said that they have done this in the past.

As the credit crunch deepens, the survey found that consumers are becoming increasingly intolerant of poor customer care. For the third year in a row, there is a growing trend for consumers to stop doing business with a company following a negative customer experience.

This year, 81% of consumers will remove their business following a poor experience versus 76% in 2007 and 65% in 2006. However, despite a tough UK economy, the survey also found one in two consumers (50%) are willing to always or often pay more for a better customer experience.

Impact of negative customer experiences

* The survey found that far from being apathetic, consumers are fighting back against poor treatment in a number of ways, many of which could directly influence a company’s bottom line, these include:

* Lost business: 81% will stop doing business with a company because of a negative customer experience, 69% decide NEVER to use that company again

* Viral detractors: 74% of consumers tell others about their poor treatment, 20% have posted negative feedback online or to a blog

* Operational burden: 61% have complained to the company at fault while 37% return products

Poor customer experiences can also bring forth emotional outbursts from consumers. Following a poor experience; 32% of consumers have sworn, 25% have shouted, 9% have developed a headache or felt sick, 8% have cried and 6% have felt their chest tighten.

Benefits of positive customer experiences

The survey also found that consumers are willing to reward companies for the provision of good customer experiences:

* Customer acquisition: 53% of consumers will recommend a company to someone else because it provides outstanding service

* Repeat business: 52% of consumers would feel encouraged to spend more with a company if it were to improve its overall customer experience

* Sustained business: even in an economic down turn, 50% of consumers will always/often pay more for a better customer experience

Consumer frustrations

For the third consecutive year, consumers voted ‘waiting on hold’ as the most frustrating aspect when contacting a company for assistance. When engaging with a company, G.B. consumers also want quick access to a live agent.

More than half (53%) found ‘automated menus that don’t provide an option to speak to a live agent’, and ‘being unable to reach a human being’ (49%) frustrating. When interacting with a company online 36% of consumers want the option of a live web chat with an agent.

More information:

* Rightnow Technologies
* Harris Interactive

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