A recent survey shows just how unsatisfied Americans are with the products and services they buy. The 2020 Customer Rage study, conducted by Customer Measurement Care and Consulting (CCMC) in conjunction with the Center for Services Leadership at W. P. Carey University and Kraft Heinz, shows more than two thirds of households experienced at least one problem during the past 12 months, making people frustrated and angry. This is the ninth study wave since the original such study was conducted for the White House in 1976. Findings from the 2020 study show that customers continue to be dissatisfied overall and in fact, at higher rates than that reported in the 1976 White House study.

Despite big money spent on a myriad of ways to handle complaints, more than one half of complainants report they were still not happy with the way their complaints were handled, jeopardizing repeat business and the loss of a loyal customer. Corporate America is risking a loss of $494 billion in revenue by doing all of the right things the wrong way when it comes to customer care.

The findings show that companies need to not only actively solicit complaints, but then they need to truly deliver on satisfaction, which leads to customer loyalty, and brand loyalty. It is simply not enough to only focus on one part of the equation.

Another key finding: Social media is a key portal into the customer experience. More and more customers are taking to social media to voice complaints, and to share these experiences with communities at large. Therefore, much research can be done by companies in order to stay on top of what complaints are happening in the social media space, and work to resolve them.

In the end, there is good news and bad news. The good: Handling complaints that end in highly satisfied customers result in high levels of brand loyalty resulting in increased revenue. Companies can adopt “best practices” to ensure that satisfaction is delivered after a complaint is made. The bad: Challenges continue to exist for companies to invest in the right ways in order to increase customer satisfaction. Investing in complaint handling avenues alone is not enough. As the survey says, “Do It Right, Or Don’t Do It!”

For more information on the 2020 Customer Rage Study, and to download a free copy of the executive report on the study, visit this link.


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