Bad Customer Service Interactions More Likely to be Shared Than Good Ones

ZenDesk-sharing-customer-service-stories-Apr2013Good – and bad – customer service interactions affect brand loyalty, according to [pdf] results from a survey of more than 1,000 individuals who have had experiences with the customer service of a mid-sized company. The survey, conducted by Dimensional Research and sponsored by ZenDesk, found that 62% of B2B and 42% of B2C customers purchased more after a good experience, while 66% and 52% respectively stopped making purchases after a bad experience. Companies beware: respondents reported being more likely to share bad than good experiences.

Overall, 95% of respondents who have had a bad experience said they told someone about it, compared to 87% who shared a good experience. In fact, bad experiences were more likely to be shared across each of the social circles identified. Friends or family (in person) were most commonly told, by 81% of those with bad experiences and 72% with good experiences, followed by coworkers (in person – 57% and 40%; respectively).

Respondents who suffered a bad interaction were 50% more likely to share it on social media than those who had good experiences (45% vs. 30%) and 52% more likely to share it on an online review site such as Yelp (35% vs. 23%). That’s particularly problematic for companies getting bad reviews: separate results from the survey indicate that 86% of respondents who have read negative reviews claimed that the information impacted their buying decision.

Other Findings:

  • Propensity to share bad customer service was above-average among Gen X (36-50) respondents (99%) and those with annual household income of more than $150,000 (100%). Those groups were also more likely to share positive experience (95% and 100%, respectively).
  • 54% of respondents who had shared a bad experience said they shared it more than 5 times, compared to 33% of those who had shared a good interaction.
  • 58% of respondents said they are more likely to tell others about customer service experiences now than they were 5 years ago. That figure rises to 61% among Millennials (18-35) and 65% among Gen Xers.

About the Data: Dimensional Research surveyed 1046 individuals online in early 2013. All survey participants lived in the US and had recent experience with the customer service of a mid-sized company either as a consumer (B2C) or in a business context (B2B). For the survey, “mid-sized’ was defined as any company that was not a large, well-known company or a small local or online company. 56% of respondents are female. 27% are Millennials, 35% Gen Xers and 38% Boomers (over 50). 14% had annual household income of more than $150,000.