The contact center cliché, “Your call is important to us, please hold,” and other platitudes only serve to irritate callers who reach out to customer service, according to the 2015 Customer Rage Survey.
More than 80 percent of consumers surveyed said they found that phrase annoying–and 17 percent demand that it be banned for good, said the conductors of the survey, who presented their results at the annual Compete Through Service Symposium hosted by W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
Overall, the survey found that complaints are on the rise–54 percent of U.S. households experienced a problem with a product or service over the past 12 months, up four percent from 2013. And companies are missing out on opportunities to satisfy complainants–63 percent of customers say they received “nothing” in return after registering a complaint with a company.
Losing potential repeat customers can cost companies billions of dollars in the aggregate, according to the survey, conducted by Customer Care Measurement and Consulting and Dialog Direct in collaboration with the Carey school of business.
“The value of complaining is increasingly eroding, not only for consumers but for the purchase base of companies as well,” said Scott M. Broetzmann of Customer Care Measurement and Consulting. “More customers are experiencing problems and are increasingly unsatisfied in how they’re being resolved. At risk is the repeat purchase of the product and service to the tune of $202 billion.”
Other key findings from the survey include:
• Two-thirds of all respondents say they have experienced customer rage.
• 35 percent say they have yelled and 15 percent cursed when speaking to customer service about serious problems.
• Among respondents who got something in return for their complaint, many felt that they got very little–75 percent said they wanted an apology but only 28 percent got one.
• Posting of customer problems on social networks has increased from 19 percent to 30 percent over the past two years.
• Although posting on the web about complaints has increased, customers still consider the telephone their primary channel for complaining by more than six to one over the internet (72 to 11 percent).
• The most frequently cited negative result from customer problems in 2015 was lost time (60 percent).
• Complainants communicate to others by word-of-mouth about a bad experience with a product or service more than twice as much as customers who are satisfied.
• Cable/satellite television ranks the worst in customer satisfaction in 2015, with a six percent increase over 2013. Other products and services in the top five offenders are telephone, automobile, computer services and retail.
Consumer complaints are up and satisfaction with customer service is at an all-time low. In fact, two out of three will experience rage during the interaction and nearly the same number (63 percent) will feel like they got absolutely nothing in response for their complaint. About $202 billion in revenue is at stake for the businesses involved. (PRNewsFoto/W. P. Carey School …)