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Customer Complaint Resolution 2
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Customer Complaint Resolution 2
Expert Opinion
Survey and Research
Example Cases
Measure and Evaluate
Summary of Best Practices

Survey and Research Data

Customers Are Harder to Impress

In 2009, a Convergys survey of some 2,000 customers in the United States and the United Kingdom revealed that:

  • 48 per cent of respondents believed that organisations neither knew nor cared about their needs or experiences, citing problems such as rude customer service staff, receiving wrong information, and employees who never solved problems
  • 56 per cent reported that companies seemed to do nothing with the feedback they were given
  • 42 per cent reported that they would leave without providing a reason after a bad experience (nine out of 10 would tell their friends and colleagues about the bad experience)
  • Although some 80 per cent of respondents reported having their expectations satisfied (and receiving exceptional service 36 per cent of the time), the majority reported that they would leave for better value
  • 78 per cent believed that service trumped personalised features, and 86 per cent believed that service defined a brand
  • 55 per cent of both United States and United Kingdom respondents preferred automated resolution over waiting to speak on the phone.

Analysis of the survey results indicated that in a changing environment, where customers are more in control, brands have become commodities, and successful organisations are those that create consistently superior experiences. Customers have greater power in the marketplace and are harder to reach, harder to impress, and more likely to take their business elsewhere without notice. [9]

Customer Complaint Resolution – Automation Preferred for Basic Concerns

A 2010 Forrester Consulting survey of United States respondents found that:

  • customers preferred to use automated self-service solutions for many of their straightforward concerns
  • two-thirds of respondents valued being able to talk quickly to a live agent at any time one was needed. From a practical standpoint, this meant that customers needed to know very early on in their interactions how a live agent could be reached (i.e. by pressing a specified key on the phone, by clicking on a chat button on-line, or by entering a call-back number into a field). [10]

Customer Complaints Resolution: Compliments Lead to Growth

A 2009 Colmar Brunton survey reported that:

  • 66 per cent of New Zealand respondents were unhappy with the service they received
  • 52 per cent rated their “rage” at bad service at 5 or higher (on a scale of 1 to 10) and 26 per cent as 8 or higher. University of Queensland research suggested that customer rage is caused by rude, uncaring or incompetent staff. Outraged customers progress from shock, to frustration, anger, exhaustion and hurt. Consequently, they make threats, slander organisations, look for revenge or, in some cases, become violent
  • customers having bad experiences told 13 other people; 56 per cent recommended avoiding organisations
  • customers receiving good service told 9 other people; 33 per cent recommended the organisation. Research by the London School of Economics reported that organisations that had large numbers of people complimenting them—and very few complaining—grew some four times faster than others. [11]

Customer Loyalty: Cost-Effective Delightful Experiences

According to TARP surveys, complaint-handling processes have the potential to both delight customers and enhance loyalty. Figure 1, see opposite, outlines the results of five TARP surveys conducted in 2006. During these surveys, customers were asked the following question: “Have you received any service that delighted you or was extraordinary? If so, please describe your experience.” Of the approximately 5,000 responses, almost 15 per cent cited an event. Two of the actions that provided the greatest lift were proactively providing information, and notifying the customer of new opportunities. The most frequent things that delighted customers, and which provided moderate moderate-to-high increases in loyalty, were those easiest to execute, e.g. no unpleasant surprises, consistently good service, and personal relationships. Significantly, none of these required any extra effort or training for employees. [6]

























Complaint Resolution: Value Confirmed by Customer Study

  • the majority of buyers who complained about a vehicle or a dealership experience were not satisfied with the complaint resolution
  • 60 per cent of buyers whose complaints about the dealership were resolved satisfactorily bought their replacement vehicle from the same dealership
  • only 30 per cent of buyers who were dissatisfied with their complaint resolution bought their replacement vehicle from the same dealership
  • in terms of make/brand of vehicle, a similar relationship between complaint resolution and loyalty to the make/brand was evident. [12]


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