Bad Service Experiences Don’t Fade Quickly From Customers’ Memories

April 16, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

B2B | Customer Service & Experience | Household Income | Women

ZenDesk-Long-Term-Impact-Customer-Experience-Apr2013Bad customer service experiences are more likely to be shared than good ones, according to results from a ZenDesk-sponsored survey conducted by Dimensional Research. Separate results from the survey [pdf] indicate that not only are bad service experiences shared often, they’re also likely to have a long-term impact on customers. Respondents were asked to think about experiences with mid-sized B2B or B2C companies whose good or bad customer service impacted their behavior. Fully 39% of respondents who had a bad experience said their behavior was impacted for at least 2 years after the negative experience. That is, asked to recall the bad experience that impacted their behavior, 39% said it occurred 2 or more years ago, while another 14% said it occurred one year ago. By comparison, 24% of respondent who reported changing their buying behavior based on a good experience said it happened 2 or more years ago.

The survey also shows that certain segments of the population were more likely to report having held onto the bad experience for at least 2 years. Women (45%), B2B customers (51%), those with annual household income of $100-150,000 (52%) and more than $150,000 (79%), as well as Gen Xers (36-50; 54%) all had an above-average likelihood of holding onto their bad experiences. B2B, Gen X, and $150,000+ respondents were also more likely to share their bad customer service experiences.

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.


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