2 in 3 Likely to Abandon a Brand After a Poor Customer Service Experience

September 8, 2022

Marketers might do an excellent job of generating demand for products and services and converting target audiences into customers, but that can all come undone by a poor frontline customer service experience. According to TCN’s Understanding the Modern Consumer report [download page], 2 in 3 consumers are “very” (27%) or “somewhat” (39%) likely to abandon a brand after a poor customer service experience.

The 66% this year saying they would be likely to turn their backs on a brand is up significantly from 42% last year. In another worrisome trend, half of respondents this year said they had ever posted an online review about a poor customer service experience with a company, with this being up from 42% last year who said they had done so.

Still, there are some positive trends to take note of. This year 55% of respondents said they had ever posted an online review about a great customer service experience with a company, up from one-third (33%) who reported the same last year. Furthermore, 71% said they would be “very” (35%) or “somewhat” (36%) likely to recommend a brand after a great customer service experience.

These results suggest that consumers are slightly more likely to post reviews about good than bad experiences, and likewise are slightly more likely to recommend a brand after a great experience than to abandon one after a poor experience.

More good news is that overall, respondents believe that the coronavirus pandemic impacted customer service for the better, with half saying it made customer service better versus one-quarter who said it made it worse.

When it comes to customer service channels, respondents still prefer to talk to a live agent by phone, with email and online chat following closely. Social media and chatbots are lowest on the list of preferred customer service channels, though consumers responding to a recent survey believed that what makes a brand best-in-class on social is offering great service on the platform. And while chatbots aren’t high on the list of channel preferences, a majority (55%) of the respondents separately said they were either extremely (23%) or somewhat (32%) satisfied when using online chatbots to resolve customer service issues.

For more, download the study here.

About the Data: The results are based on a May survey of 1,000 US adults (18+).

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