What Wins Customers Back After A CX Failure?

SDL-Winning-Customers-Back-Post-CX-Failure-May2015Roughly 3 in 4 consumers surveyed across 9 countries have experienced their “worst CX failure” within the past 2 years, according to a report from SDL. Customers most often ascribed failures to the post-sale support of the customer journey stage, with long waits/poor response times (35%), poorly empowered (31%) and trained (30%) customer service the most commonly-cited reasons for CX failures. So can customers be re-engaged?

Apparently, the desire is there, as 82% of customers experiencing a “worst CX” said they are interested in fixing the problem. But while the desire to fix a problem might be there, the survey also finds that only about 1 in 5 customers experiencing a “worst CX” event will consider doing business with the company again. That’s in line with other research from Accenture, in which 73% of US customers who had switched providers in the previous year due to poor service said they would not consider switching back to their original provider or doing business with them again.

The study finds that customers who had returned to a company post-failure were most likely to attribute that to:

  • The company owning the failure and admitting its mistakes (29% share);
  • Receiving a genuine, personalized apology (22%); and
  • The company giving discounts, credits, rebates on products/services where the failure was experienced (21%).

Far fewer (8%) said they had returned to the company in question because it showed them how they had improved their business as a result of the experience. This appears to be a minor influence on consumers, despite the sample overall indicating that this would win them back.

In other interesting results from the survey:

  • Communications service providers emerged as the “worst offenders” for CX failures, a result in keeping with prior research;
  • Pleasant and helpful customer service (35%) and well-trained and knowledgable customer service (27%) were the leading reasons given for CX success;
  • Some 64% of customers experiencing a CX failure stopped recommending the brand (22%), looked for alternatives (30%), or disparaged the company (12%);
  • By contrast, 98% of customers will engage in a positive activity after experiencing a CX success, most often by recommending them to others offline (72%); and
  • CX success is most commonly attributed to the combination of humans and technology, while humans are most commonly blamed for failures.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 2,784 consumers from 3 generations across 9 countries: UK; US; Brazil; Germany; Sweden; South Africa; China; Japan; and Australia. The survey was conducted from January through March, 2015.