It is possible to bounce back from a bad customer experience

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How your customers interact with and experience your brand should not be ignored. Companies that promote the customer experience report higher customer referral rates and customer satisfaction. But it doesn’t take much for a failure to take place, a SDL global report shows that roughly 3 in 4 consumers surveyed across 9 countries have experienced their worst customer experience in the past 2 years.  When a bad customer experience happens, 64 percent will stop recommending the organization, start looking for an alternative brand or actively disparage the company via word of mouth, social media or other online channels. Some of the  more frustrating reasons involve the long waits, poor response times, poorly empowered, agents who cannot answer the questions and poorly trained. The good news is that 82% of customers are interested in fixing the problem, meaning that there is chance to re-engage with those customers. What can contribute?  

The study finds that customers who had returned to a company post-failure were most likely to attribute that to:

  • The company owning the failure and admitting its mistakes;
  • Receiving a genuine, personalized apology and
  • The company giving discounts, credits, rebates on products/services where the failure was experienced.

Far fewer (8%) said they had returned to the company in question because it showed them how they had improved their business as a result of the experience. This appears to be a minor influence on consumers, despite the sample overall indicating that this would win them back.

In other interesting results from the survey:

  • Communications service providers emerged as the “worst offenders” for customer service failures;
  • More than 40 percent of consumers’ “worst Costumer Service experiences” have occurred in digital industries, including communications, electronics and online retail
  • Pleasant and helpful customer service (35%) and well-trained and knowledgable customer service (27%) were the leading reasons given for customer service success;
  • Some 64% of customers experiencing a CX failure stopped recommending the brand (22%), looked for alternatives (30%), or disparaged the company (12%);
  • By contrast, 98% of customers will engage in a positive activity after experiencing a CX success, most often by recommending them to others offline (72%); and
  • Customer Experience success is most commonly attributed to the combination of humans and technology, while humans are most commonly blamed for failures.