2015 promises to be a pivotal year. Many companies realize they must take steps now to bolster customer happiness and shrink churn. With an estimated $5.9 trillion up for grabs worldwide each year as customers shift brand loyalties, companies need to make customer satisfaction a top 2015 priority.
The standard approaches—like loyalty programs—are not adequately curbing customer defections. Instead, brands need to focus more attention on their most vulnerable and volatile customer segment—their dissatisfied customers.
While your company may have no choice but to manage your most unhappy customers—those who vocalize complaints—you can do much more to improve relationships with your slightly to moderately dissatisfied customers. Often, these customers don’t make overt complaints, so you need approaches to help you identify and address their needs.
Getting facts about the problem of customer dissatisfaction is an essential first step. Here are need-to-know metrics to help you make the case for investing in customer dissatisfaction management:
- More than 50% of customers switched service providers after a poor customer service experience in a single year. (Accenture)
- For every one customer complaint received by a company, 26 customers do not articulate their concerns. (White House Office for Consumer Affairs)
- Forty-five (45%) percent of people share negative customer experiences on social media, with 35% of people likely to post negative online reviews after a poor experience. (Dimensional Research)
- Eighty-six percent (86%) of people won’t purchase from a business which has negative online reviews. (Dimensional Research)
- Seventy-eight percent (78%) of consumers have abandoned a transaction because of poor service. (American Express)
- Ninety-one (91%) of dissatisfied customers will not do business with a brand that failed to meet their expectations. (Lee Resources)
- Consumers tell twice as many people about poor experiences than positive ones. (White House Office of Consumer Affairs)
- Eighty-five (85%) of people share any customer experience stories in person–which puts brands at risk of negative perceptions spreading via word-of-mouth. (CX Act)
- Over 1 million people see tweets on customer service each week—and 80% of those tweets are critical or negative. (Touch Agency)
- Eighty-one (81%) of consumers who switched loyalties say the company could have done something differently to keep them as customers. (Accenture)
Those are sobering stats. But the good news is that there is an upside to handling dissatisfied customers. As Bernard Strauss and Wolfgang Seidel explained in Complaint Management: The Heart of CRM, resolving an unhappy customer’s complaint can motivate that customer to stay loyal. He or she could even become a strong advocate for your brand.
Today’s businesses need to take a critical look at how they identify and handle all their dissatisfied customers—not just the ones who make their issues known. Having strategies and tactics to manage latent customer dissatisfaction is an imperative in today’s cutthroat marketplace.