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For Customer Experience Professionals

How Consumers Complain About Poor Service

November 9, 2010

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  • By Andrew McInnes
  • with Harley Manning,
  • Jennifer Peterson,
  • Shelby Catino

Why Read This Report

Most consumers say that they've had unsatisfactory service interactions during the past year. Of that group, 69% have told friends or family. To reverse the negative buzz and prevent future problems, companies need to learn from their service mistakes. But where should they look for feedback to help them improve? We examined Forrester's Consumer Technographics® data to find out. We found that 71% of consumers who have had poor service experiences have provided feedback directly to the company through surveys, phone calls, emails, or letters. In contrast, only 16% of these consumers have vented through social channels, such as online customer reviews, Facebook status updates, or blog posts. Not surprisingly, channel use varies by generation, with younger generations leading the way with social outlets. To start diagnosing service problems and driving improvements, customer experience professionals should align their voice of the customer (VoC) activities with customers' feedback preferences.

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Tools And Templates

Models and Calculators

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  • Consumers Still Use Traditional Channels Most For Feedback And Complaints
  • Generational Differences Affect The Ways Consumers Provide Feedback