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  • Writer's pictureMark Slatin

Could Customer Rage be Costing You Business?

“Telling me the things you're gonna do for me

I ain't blind and I don't like what I think I see”

- Taking it to the Streets, The Doobie Brothers

This year's National Customer Rage Survey with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, first conducted by the White House, found that 32% of complainants posted about their most serious problem on social media. That's more than double the number from 2020.

Bad experiences impact our lives.

The survey, recently published in the recent Wall Street Journal, reported 43% of customers said they raised their voice to a customer service representative to show displeasure about their most serious problem. That's up from 35% in 2017.

The stakes are higher for bad customer experiences because the velocity can be measured in nanoseconds and the messaging tool is controlled by your customers. ‘And if you don’t care about my problems as a customer,’ the article points out, ‘then I’m going to take it to the streets.’

And with a few clicks of the mouse or swipes with the thumb, 100,000 people are also aware of my angst as a customer.

So what?

Each time a customer complains, it’s costing companies future business. But, the article points out “If you think about the average number of contacts that really angry customers are making, each time they contact a business, that costs the business money.”

Some tactics companies use to “help” customers like automation to cut costs and cover staffing shortages in their standard customer service. "Firms push customers towards phone lines and web chats that are 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 rage 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."

Do you ever feel like the company is trying to hide its phone number?

Using technology to reduce costs makes perfect sense. But if the goal is solely to reduce costs without taking the customer experience into account, it will end up costing more.

And then there's the stress on the employees who have to deal with a growing number of enraged customers.

There are many factors that lead to customers "taking it to the streets" which puts customer retention (and employee retention) at risk.

The solution is to move your organization toward experience maturity, based on proven frameworks and principles.

If you would like to get an idea of a baseline, take the Experience Maturity Assessment that is based on the 5 Core Competencies established by the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA).

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