People are talking (and posting) about customer service

If you are one of the millions of Americans who’ve been ignored, stuck on hold, passed from person to person, lost in a chat room discussion, or simply unable to get one ounce of satisfaction from a customer experience gone wrong, you are certainly not on Gilligan’s Island by yourself.  Chances are Skipper, Professor, the Movie Star, and Mary Ann, are right there with you.

In a recent survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs Omnibus Group, “People are Talking about Customer Service and Posting their Negative Experiences Online”, Americans are speaking out about good and bad customer service experiences.

IPSOS-Omnibus-Customer-Service-Infographic

When asked, “Which of the following industries you feel have the worst customer experience, Americans ranked government offices (39%) at the top of the list followed by Tele/TV/Internet (38%), Healthcare (18%), and Utilities (17%).  Uncle Sam you need to put yourself out there, and better understand how to create loyalists.

Customer Experience expert and loyalty author, Jackie Huba, recently analyzed the “Lady Gaga” effect, and how Gaga turns fans into lifetime loyalists.  Gaga said it’s simple: “Keep unleashing your creativity on the world. Some things will appeal and some won’t. Stay true to your passion and don’t give up. It will be the legacy of your work that you will be able to look back on.”

Crazy to think a woman who calls her fans “her little monsters” can have such a handle of the loyalty effect of her clients and customers.  Its apparent Gaga is more sensitive to the needs of her clientele than Uncle Sam, Auntie Comcast/DirectTV, or Sister Humana.

Our Ipsos study also asked “If you had a bad experience with customer service, how likely are you to post a review or comment online, or on social media”?  Certainly don’t get Millennials upset, because (63%) of 18-34 year olds said they were very/somewhat likely to post a bad experience, to only (37%) of the 55+ year old segment.

This data correlates with a recent study from The American Express® Global Customer Service Barometer, fielded in October of 2014. The survey finds: “If you have horrible service, people will talk about you even more. (60%) of respondents said they always share bad service experiences and they tell nearly three times as many people (an average of 21 people vs. 8 people who talk about good service).

However, good or positive service can help your bottom line just as effectively as the “torpedo effect” associated with a negative experience:

  • More than two thirds of American consumers say they’re willing to spend 14% more on average with a company that they believe delivers excellent service.
  • Nearly half of the survey’s respondents say they always tell others about good service interactions (46%), telling an average of eight people.
  • Two in five Americans (42%) say that a recommendation from a friend or family member is most likely to get them to try doing business with a new company, even more than a sale or promotion (34%) or a company’s reputation (15%).

One thing that contradicts my impression of how Americans provide feedback is the medium of choice.  Our study found that (49%) of respondents prefer to make a contact for a bad customer service experience through Live Chat on the Phone, (23%) in person, (15%) through email, and (13%) through live chat online.  Sakes alive, (72%) of these interactions are done F2F and 1v1.

If you asked me to place a bet on how this discourse would go down, I would have bet my farm in Farmville it would have been through texting, tweeting, blogging (you love my blog), or some other hide-behind-the-curtain approach.

Good for you America.  Speak up for yourself.  Hell, we are Americans, and when we are upset, we demand satisfaction, and confront our issues F2F with unabashed fury!