Intelligent Help Desk Blog

Customer Responses to Bad Customer Service

Posted by Meredith Estepon Wed, Feb 13, 2013 @ 11:30 AM

dreamstime 7845032Bad service is never a welcome experience for customers, but they may show their disapproval in a wide variety of ways. While companies may never know about the unhappiness of many of their customers, others will make their disappointment well known to the business. Check out the different ways customers respond to bad customer service, so you can be on the watch for customers that may require extra effort to satisfy in the future.

They Spend Less
Customers that are unhappy with the service they received from a company tend to spend less with that company in the future. In fact, research has found that as many as three-fourths of customers will decrease spending with a company that doesn’t provide good service. On the flip side, more than one-third of customers that are happy with the service they receive will actually increase spending with the business.

They Tell Others
Customers that receive poor service may not tell the company, but they are very likely to tell others about the experience. More than half of disgruntled customers will turn to friends and family members to voice their frustration with the company. That number is much smaller for customers that receive excellent service, so the impact of poor service resonates stronger.

They Hit Social Media
Around 16 percent of unhappy customers will now turn to social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to share their experience with everyone online. While this number is relatively small, the number of people that might hear about the bad experience may be much larger than the word-of-mouth method. The good news is companies can now monitor social media to nip customer complaints in the bud.

They Head to a Competitor
Some customers will never say a word about their experience to anyone – they’ll simply move to the competitor down the street. The number of customers that take this approach is just under 20 percent, according to some research. However, the impact can be devastating to a company, since they never discover what went wrong.

They Write a Negative Review
In the age of online information, it is relatively easy for a customer to head to a website and write a negative review of a company that delivered sub-standard service. The number of customers that take this approach to poor service is fairly small – less than five percent – but the number of potential customers that negative review could reach may be very large.

They Complain to the Company
The best case scenario for a company is a customer that takes the time to come into the business and complain about the service he received. In this situation, the customer is actually giving the company the opportunity to win him back as a loyal client. When the complaint is handled correctly, the business might even create a positive experience from a negative one, which the customer might in turn spread to others.

Unhappy customers might respond to the situation in a variety of ways. By understanding those responses and monitoring as many as possible, you may be able to manage negative experiences and transform them into positive customer encounters.

- Meredith Estep


Topics: customer service, meredith estep, intelligent help desk