Why an angry customer is an unhealthy customer

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on September 21, 2006

Why an angry customer is an unhealthy customer

Almost half of UK consumers say their well being is affected by poor customer experiences, with 41% saying they have had experiences resulting in headaches, chest tightening, physical shaking, or becoming flushed with anger, according to research commissioned by RightNow Technologies.

The research found that for more than one-third of Britons (34%), a poor consumer experience had led to shouting, swearing, crying, or even wilfully breaking something. Thankfully, however, complaining about the poor experience still remains the most common outcome for more than half (55%) of UK adults.

The study highlighted a disconnect between companies wanting to sell more and their ability to delight existing customers through consistently strong customer experiences.

Call calling blues On one hand, half (50%) of the UK's adults are getting at least one cold call every week, with more than three-quarters (76%) of them feeling angry, annoyed and stressed by companies contacting them with things they don't want.

But more than half (53%) indicated that they would actually buy more from companies if they were treated better, while a combined 40% of adults would consider themselves calmer, happier and cared about.

Not retail therapy Gladeana McMahon, co-director of UK-based Stress Management Centre, explained: "Stress shows itself in physical, emotional and behavioural ways, and all of the reactions the respondents experienced are stress-related. It is disappointing that companies can affect their customers in this way and the onus should be on them to address it."

When asked why companies are failing to deliver better standards of customer care, almost two-thirds (63%) of consumers felt it is because companies are only interested in making money. A lack of consistency, people and time were also cited as being major reasons.

Fewer complaints Tom Castley of RightNow Technologies, said: "Investing in acquiring new customers, only to lose them again through poor customer experience, is a waste of money, and one that can be avoided if proper customer experience strategies are put in place and supported by the correct technology. A successful customer experience ensures choice for the consumer and less cost for the company as they keep hard-won consumers and also have fewer complaints to deal with."

The research was conducted by Research Now through an online service interviewing 1,006 people from a nationally representative sample of adults aged 16 or over.

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