Here’s One Reason Why Marketers Obsess Over the Customer Experience

September 29, 2021

Qualtrics Spending Cuts After Bad Customer Experience Sept2021While a good customer experience can induce consumers to purchase more from a company as well as instill trust in that company, the opposite is true when consumers have a less than satisfactory experience. A global consumer study [download page] by Qualtrics XM Institute finds that more than half of consumers surveyed have decreased (34%) or stopped spending (19%) after a bad experience with an organization.

The survey of more than 17,500 consumers across 18 countries reveals that 3 in 10 have had a very poor experience with a government agency. Others also report having a very poor experience with an airline (27%), internet service provider (27%) and mobile phone provider (23%). It’s probably not a coincidence that mobile phone providers, internet service providers and government agencies also ranked lowest in customer satisfaction in another survey from XM Institute.

Somewhat fewer (1 in 5) consumers report having had a very poor experience with an online retailer. However, it’s online retailers that appear most likely to see customers decrease or stop spending after a very poor experience. More than 6 in 10 have either decreased spending (35%) or stopped spending (28%) with an online retailer after such an experience. This is followed by those who have cut or stopped spending with a mobile phone provider (36% and 24%, respectively) after a very poor experience.

Only 1 in 10 (11% of) consumers say they have had a bad experience with a streaming service. It also appears that if they have a very poor experience with one, it’s one of the industries least likely to see consumers decrease (29%) or stop spending (13%).

Customer Experience in the US

Globally, consumers report having a very poor experience with, on average, 18% of the experiences they have with organizations. Unfortunately for US organizations, the percentage is even higher. US consumers say that on average 21% of their customer experiences are “very poor.” Despite this, the US is slightly below average when it comes to the share of poor experiences that result in spending cuts. Some 3 in 10 US consumers who have had a poor experience have decreased spending, while 1 in 5 have stopped spending.

In terms of industries, the largest percentage of US consumers have had a very poor experience with a government agency (31%), followed by those who have had a very poor experience with a fast food restaurant (25%), mobile phone provider (25%), internet service provider (24%) and online retailer (23%). And, although a great deal of US consumers subscribe to streaming video and streaming music services, only 17% of those who have had an experience with a streaming media service report having had a very poor experience.

The full report can be found here.

About the Data: Findings are based on a survey of 17,509 consumers across 18 countries.


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