By now it’s become pretty obvious that given a megaphone, people will use it to express their opinions. I think many of us also assume that the ones who will scream the loudest are those who are unhappy (ever heard a happy baby crying?). So today I’ve brought along a little proof of what we thought to be true: people tend to share their bad experiences with a business more often than they do their positive ones. See that little chart? It’s from a study conducted by Dimensional Research and it found that:
Customer service has a long-term impact on buying decisions, with customers continuing to be effected years after the initial interaction. Customers share service interactions more widely than ever before. Social media and review sites are providing increased awareness of customer service experiences and these stories influence the purchases of others.
You can read the entire thing yourself here (pdf). Back to our assumption about unhappy people. They found that those who suffered a bad interaction were 50% more likely to share it on social media than those who had good experiences (45% vs. 30%) and 52% more likely to share it on an online review site such as Yelp (35% vs. 23%). And it turns out they do so LOUDLY – 54% of respondents who had shared a bad experience said they shared it more than 5 times, compared to 33% of those who had shared a good interaction.
So what? So:
All survey participants were asked if they had seen online reviews of customer service. About two-thirds of participants (63% for negative and 69% for positive) reported that they did recall reading these online reviews. These reviews are very impactful. The vast majority of participants who have seen reviews claimed that information did impact their buying decisions. This was true of both positive reviews (90%) as well as negative reviews (86%)
The days of bad customer interactions being a quiet little problem are over. What are you doing to be sure the problem isn’t one you have?