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People around the world say that customer experience is a competitive differentiator for brands. But do good or bad experiences reverberate beyond the customers themselves? As it stands, most people will tell someone about a very good or very bad experience, according to new research from the Temkin Group.

In fact, only around one-quarter (27%) of US consumers surveyed in Q1 reported being silent about a recent very bad experience with a company. Respondents were more likely to have not shared a very good experience, with one-third (34%) saying they didn’t tell anyone about the experience.

As such, the results suggest that people are slightly more likely to share a very bad than a very good experience. That’s a shift from the results of a similar survey conducted last year, but is in line with results from earlier years.

How Do People Share Feedback?

The most common way by which people report very good and very bad experiences is to tell their friends about it. Almost half of the consumers surveyed reported having told a friend about their very bad experience via email, phone or in-person (46.7%), and nearly as many shared a very good experience (44%) with a friend.

Beyond telling friends, consumers seem apt to share feedback directly with the companies themselves, though more have done so following a very bad (26.7%) than very good (20.2%) experience.

Respondents reported being more likely to share feedback directly with a company than to write something about their experience on Facebook, a 3rd-party site (such as Yelp or TripAdvisor), or Twitter. Nonetheless, sizable proportions said they had written something on Facebook following very bad (17.1%) and very good (14.8%) experiences, indicating that these experiences can echo beyond immediate social circles.

TV and Internet Service Providers At the Bottom of the Heap, Again

Looking at industry specifics, the report finds that almost one-fifth (18%) of respondents who had interacted with TV and internet service providers reported a bad experience. That figure was considerably higher than any other industry.

Furthermore, TV and internet service providers proved the least adept at recovering from a bad experience in consumers’ eyes, while investment firms are the most effective.

The research created a “Sales at Risk Index,” arrived at by “combining the percentage of customers in an industry who reported having a bad experience with the percentage who said they decreased their spending after a bad experience.” Guess who fared the worst? TV and internet service providers, who have 6.4% of their revenue at risk, according to this metric.

TV and internet service providers have been dominating the (bad) headlines of late. Consider that:

About the Data: The Temkin Group report on sharing customer experiences is based on a survey of 10,000 US consumers, who were asked about their recent interactions with more than 300 companies across 20 industries.

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