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As customer problems reach record highs, more people seek ‘revenge’

Americans face more problems than ever with corporate products and services and are more likely to actively seek ‘revenge’ for them, new study finds. I was.

About 74% of the 1,000 consumers surveyed said they had experienced a product or service issue in the past year.That is Up from 66% in 2020the last time the survey was conducted, and 56% in 2017. Only 32% told researchers they had experienced problems in 1976, when a similar version of the study was first conducted. bottom.

Research shows that the percentage of consumers who took action to resolve their scores against businesses, either in person or through means such as pestering them online or publicly shaming them, fell by 3 in 2020. tripled from % to 9%. From 2003 to 2017 he averaged 17% of customers seeking revenge.

“If you as a company don’t really seem to care, I’m going to take to the streets.” The so-called National Customer Anger Survey by the WP Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. First conducted by the White House in 1976. The study, which was based on a study conducted by Reuters, found that, albeit under a different name, 32% of complainants posted on social media about their most serious issues, more than double the rate they posted in 2020. .

“Nowadays, most people are on computers and have some form of social media at the moment. Complaining is being democratized,” said Broetzmann.

However, the results reflect the findings of a consulting firm


The quality of customer experience provided by consumer brands and government agencies Decrease in one year until April 2022A Forrester study examined the perceptions of 96,211 US consumers for 221 organizations.

and the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which analyzes customer satisfaction on a 0 to 0 scale for over 400 companies in 47 industries. 100, but fell from 77 in 2018 to 73.1 in 2022, the biggest drop in the index’s 28-year history.Increased customer satisfaction in some areas The index’s latest report shows declines in industries such as consumer goods, athletic shoes, soft drinks, hospitals, online and specialty retail, but declines in fast food, hotels and gas stations.

According to National Customer Rage research, increased frustration is accompanied by more frequent and aggressive complaints.

A recent survey found that 79% of customers complained to the company at fault about the most serious issues, up from 72% in 2020. And 43% said they spoke up with customer service representatives to express their annoyance about their most serious issues. Up from 35% in 2017. This is the last time this question was asked in a survey.

Consumers said some companies handled complaints better than others, with sectors such as food delivery, package delivery and banking outperforming categories such as pay TV, air travel and automobiles. .

Broutzmann says customer dissatisfaction hurts companies in many ways.

2022 has been a turbulent year for careers.So how much did cancellations, lost bags, and complaints affect the company’s ranking in the WSJ’s annual airline rankings? Illustration by John Krauss

“Companies are paying a lot for their future business, but also for serving really angry customers,” said Broetzmann. “When you think about the average number of contacts a really angry customer makes each time they contact your business, it costs your business.”

Some companies have started offering Prompt customer care as a bonus Borrowing strategies from airlines and credit card companies for paying members, biggest spenders, and most loyal fans.

At the same time, more companies Shift to automation reduce costs and make up for labor shortage With their standard customer service. Businesses are directing customers to phone lines and web chats that are handled by artificial intelligence and other technologies that can handle basic requests, leaving human staff to handle more complex service inquiries.

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But that strategy tends to make customers even more angry, a rage study reveals. Respondents cited their top complaints with customer care as being forced to listen to long messages before being allowed to speak to a representative and figuring out how or where to contact the company. . I feel like my company is hiding my phone number.

At the same time, according to customer outrage, 25% of respondents said they expected an explanation as to why the issue occurred, 24% wanted an apology, and 23% wanted assurance that the issue would not reoccur. research.

They said their complaints rarely resulted in such consequences. Companies provided explanations in 9% of cases investigated, apologized in 18%, and gave assurances in 9%. .

Customer service technologies such as artificial intelligence are less likely than human agents to satisfy the need for empathy, according to Breutzmann.

“Robots should not be kind and compassionate,” he said.

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