Customers want revenge

The percentage of consumers who have taken action to settle a score against a company through measures such as pestering or public shaming in person or online has tripled to 9% from 3% in 2020, according to the study. That reversed a downward trend in revenge-seeking behavior: The average percentage of customers seeking revenge between 2003 and 2017 was 17%.

You’re making record profits while raising prices, and if you don’t care about me as a customer, I will talk about you on every social media channel”.

Thanks to digital communications, the Web, live chats, and social media, customers have many more ways of registering complaints. This alone can make it a more significant challenge than in the past for companies to address customer complaints. This is the reality of branding today. Most people are using a computer; they’re using some form of social media at this point; there’s a democratization of complaining,

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, which analyzes customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in 47 industries on a scale of 0 to 100, fell to 73.1 in 2022 from 77 in 2018, the most significant decline in the index’s 28-year history. According to the National Customer Rage study, the rising dissatisfaction is accompanied by more frequent and aggressive complaints.

How bad is it? The latest research found 79% of customers complained about their most serious problem to the company at fault, an increase from 72% in 2020. And 43% said they raised their voice to a customer service representative to show displeasure about their most serious problem, up from 35% in 2017, the most recent previous time the question was asked on the survey.

Customer dissatisfaction hurts companies.

It costs companies a lot of money in future business, but there’s also the cost of servicing angry customers. If you think about the average number of contacts that angry customers make each time, they contact a business, that costs the business money.

To help, some companies have begun offering expedited customer care as a perk for their paid members, biggest spenders, and most loyal fans, borrowing a strategy of airlines and credit card companies.

More companies have been turning to automation to cut costs and cover staffing shortages in their standard customer service. Firms push customers towards phone lines and web chats handled by artificial intelligence or other technologies that can respond to basic requests, leaving human staff to handle the more complicated service inquiries. 

But that strategy is prone to angering customers further, the research found. Respondents named their top customer care frustrations as “being forced to listen to long messages before you’re permitted to speak to a representative” and “figuring out how or where to contact the company,” which covers the experience of feeling like a company is hiding its phone number.

What can brands do?

1ne: Do not cut customer service. It’s an essential part that directly communicates with your audience

2wo: Monitor wait times for customer service. If they are longer than a few minutes, you need more staff.

3hree: Your marketing teams should be integrated with customer service people for actionable feedback.

4our: Recognize good customer service with awards. These people are on the front lines daily and must be recognized for dealing with angry customers.

5ive: Empower your customer service people to solve problems. Do it if it means sending out a product replacement or coupon for a free replacement.

6ix: Customers can be passive-aggressive on social media with complaints. Try and reach out to them but also understand there are times when nothing you do will make a difference.

If you decide to cut customer service you’re going to lose customers.

About richmeyer

Rich is a passionate marketer who is able to quickly understand what turns a prospect into a customer. He challenges the status quo and always asks "what can we do better"? He knows how to take analytics and turn them into opportunities and he is a great communicator.

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