The most successful businesses make customer satisfaction their top priority, but for any company that fails to do so, the consequences can be catastrophic. Research from NewVoiceMedia, a leading technology vendor based in Basingstoke, reveals that nearly a third of us (31%) post online comments following inadequate customer service, spreading the complaint across our networks and beyond.
Thanks to social media, internet forums and review channels, the modern consumer has a convenient public platform at their fingertips and will spread negative sentiment about a business without thinking twice. The survey of 2,034 UK adults shows that women are nearly twice as likely than men to take out their frustration online, and of the 16-24 age group, this was the case for over 40% – clearly demonstrating the generational importance of a channel that’s likely to explode in relevance as Gen Y consumers’ spending power increases.
Seven percent of respondents even consider posting on Facebook to be the most effective way to resolve a problem. One respondent explained: “The scale of people seeing the complaint usually makes the company take notice to limit any knock-on effect to other customers who may also perceive the issue as unacceptable.” Another participant more bluntly stated: “Bad publicity hurts.”
NewVoiceMedia‘s Jonathan Gale, who commissioned the research, commented: “Not long ago, customers would tell friends and family if they experienced poor customer service. While this is damaging to a brand, it’s not nearly as powerful and immediate as customers who take their complaints online. Within hours, a business can suffer irreversible damage to its reputation, resulting in lost revenue and growth opportunities.
“Customers want personal and engaging experiences every time, through every channel. Customer experience is a key differentiator and by doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful.”