Headline Junk: Americans Will Spend 9% More With Companies That Provide Excellent Service


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Ah. This “finding” is oft re-tweeted, mostly as propaganda, and I find the link in the #custserv chat area on Twitter, which is one of the best places to get bad information about customer service trends, but a good place to get soundbytes that come from fortune cookies.

Be that as it may. The link to this “finding” (actually it’s a press release) is here, and if you read the article you will note that MOST of it is written as it should be. It is based on survey data, so reporting the findings talk about what respondents “believe” or “perceive”. That’s good because we KNOW that survey data of this sort, even if taken properly and with effective sampling, is very bad at predicting actual behavior.

Now, the headline. “Americans WILL spend…” ? No. That’s completely misleading. Personally I call that lying. Here’s the corrected form that accurately reflects survey data:

“When surveyed Americans CLAIMED they would spend an average of 9% more with companies that provide excellent service”

Actually, even that is a bit shaky unless we see the actual questions.

So, to repeat:

You cannot use survey data to predict consumer buying behavior over any extended period of time.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Robert Bacal
Robert began his career as an educator and trainer at the age of twenty (which is over 30 years ago!), as a teaching assistant at Concordia University. Since then he as trained teachers for the college and high school level, taught at several universities and trained thousands of employees and managers in customer service, conflict management and performance appraisal and performance management skills.


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