Beware the Fallout
of Bad Customer Service
By Norma Duenas
recently released Harris Interactive study confirms that a bad
customer service experience is enough to make the majority of
consumers run for the hills. The study reported that 80 percent of
2,049 U.S. adults surveyed never go back to a business or
organization after a bad customer service experience. The study
indicated that an organization’s customer service level is one of
the defining factors that will make or break a company.
Consumers have increasingly higher expectations of businesses, and
they are willing to walk away quickly from a majority of businesses
if these expectations are not met. Although a business may be
attracting new customers, the key to growth is being able to retain
existing customers while attracting these new customers; this is
especially true of outsourcing call centers. The Harris study
reflects how great customer service can significantly contribute to
a company’s growth. Its findings indicate that 51 percent of
consumers cited outstanding service as the reason that they
continued to work with a company.
businesses fail to appreciate the value of customer loyalty and
word-of-mouth exposure until it is too late. Interestingly, 74
percent of U.S. adults said that they would file a complaint as
result of their negative experience or tell others about their bad
experience. In addition, 60 percent indicated that the main reason
for recommending a company was “outstanding service.” A customer’s
negative experiences with a company’s customer service can quickly
turn a pool of potential customers into a dry well.
especially important population that customer care departments
should be looking at is Hispanics. A First Customer Rage Survey
from Language Line Services and CCMC revealed that 90 percent of
Hispanic customers who had a problem with a service or product were
extremely upset with both the problem and the way it was handled.
In addition, Hispanics were more likely to threaten to contact the
media or seek revenge. The tremendous growth of the Hispanic
population and their current buying power represent a significant
potential customer pool that companies should address when
developing their customer service strategies.
you avoid becoming one of many companies whose customer numbers
dwindle from bad customer service experiences? Here are several
suggestions that will help make your customers' experiences with
your company better:
incentives in place when things go wrong. Undoubtedly, things
will go wrong for some customers, no matter how much you try to
make sure that every customer is pleased. The key to making
sure that these customers remain and even become loyal to your
company is to offer incentives that quickly resolve the problem
and compensate for any inconvenience the customer has
a knowledge base of the problems that most frustrate customers,
and build solutions that can get the issues resolved on the
first contact with the customer. Although this might seem like
a huge investment for some companies, this knowledge will pay
for itself in the form of continuing customers.
it easy for customers to deal with you. The harder you make
their life, the easier it will be for them to let you go and
never come back. Most consumers lead busy lives with little
time to deal with problems that they have with a company. The
more ease with which a problem can get resolved for a customer
on first contact without having to take additional steps, the
more likely they will continue to work with your company.
Respond to concerns and questions quickly. The longer you take
to respond to a customer’s concern or questions, the less
positive their impression will be of your organization.
Duenas handles business development for NomKa UK Communications, an
inbound call center and answering service; visit
www.nomka.com for more information.
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