Rage against customer service reps is on the rise
Also on the increase is the amount of yelling and swearing customers are willing to unleash on company employees.
This post comes from Allison Martin at partner site Money Talks News.
A customer "rage" survey designed by Customer Care Measurement and Consulting and the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University showed that 68 percent of U.S. households experienced "customer rage" this year. That is up 8 percentage points since 2011.
"We're yelling and cursing at customer service representatives more when dealing with the worst problems, with yelling up from 25 percent in previous rage studies to 36 percent now," according to a press release about the survey.
"Also, cursing is up from 7 percent to 13 percent," the release says.
So, what is it that makes consumers so angry? Here are a few notable statistics from the survey:
- The product most often responsible for enraging people is cable or satellite TV.
- 50% of consumers reported problems this year, up from 45 percent in 2011.
- 56 percent of complainants received no remedy for their troubles, up 9 percentage points from 2011.
- Customer satisfaction doubled from 37 percent to 74 percent when customers were given free remedies, such as an apology, along with a financial remedy.
It also said:
Despite the rise of the Internet, people are still 11 times more likely to complain via phone than Web.
However, customer-complaint posting on social-networking sites, such as Facebook, has nearly doubled from 19 percent to 35 percent since 2011.
Companies are spending a lot of money on customer care, but they're obviously doing something wrong. And that's costing them customer loyalty and money.
"If the customer was satisfied or at least pacified, he or she only told an average of 10 to 16 people about the problem, but if customers were left dissatisfied, they told an average of about 28 people," the press release said.
But is this totally the fault of companies? You also have to wonder if customers themselves are more likely to become rude.
Have you had an unpleasant experience with customer service this year? Were you polite or did you start yelling?
More on Money Talks News:
Light years ago and far away.....I once worked retail. At Christmastime, the workload increased to where I worked as much as 12-hour days, and 6-days per week. I was management. No overtime.
Once, while packing a customers order of small poinsettia plants, I dropped one of them, spilling the dirt on myself and the floor inside the cash-wrap area. I apologized to the customer, telling her that I'll go select another, "Just as pretty." Well....
That woman laid into me like I was at the center of all that was wrong in her life. Cursing and screaming that I was clumsy, stupid, and wasting her time.
I wasn't any of those things. I was just so tired that I could hardly stand up. And I'll never forget that terrible lesson in life, and people, too.
The reason rage against customer service reps is rising is because most companies either don't provide adequate training or they just don't care. Customer service is extremely lacking at most companies and the reps don't even know what customer service actually means. Example: I USED to have Dish satellite. I once clicked on "order" for a movie and because I didn't have a home phone line connected to the satellite box, there was a box that popped up saying to call the 800 customer service number to complete ordering the movie. I decided not to call the number and just pass on this movie. Here's the problem though; when I received my bill, the movie was included on the bill, even though I never actually received the movie. I called Dish customer service and was told that I ordered the movie from my remote, therefore it is their policy that the charge can not be removed. I asked to speak to a supervisor. I spoke to 5 different people and was on the phone for 2 1/2 hours before the last person came on the line and immediately said, the charge has been removed from your bill. But, how many people would go to these lengths (2 1/2 hours on phone) to get a bill corrected that every single rep said they could not remove; until the last person I spoke to removed the charge. I even told a couple of these reps that they are stealing by charging for services that weren't actually received. And I would bet anything that they are making millions from customers who just pay it and don't fight for what is right. I actually told one of the Dish reps that I would rather pay an attorney to fight that charge then give Dish the money for a service not received. At that point, it was the principal of the matter.
The point is; when companies continue to treat loyal customers like this with little regard for what's right and what's wrong; customers are going to continue to show more rage. Treat customers right and train your staff to understand what quality customer service is all about.
One thing to remember when talking to a customer service representative...they are not the problem. The company they work for is the problem. It's very hard to keep than in mind when you are calling to resolve an issue, but it pays off in the end.
I think the most frustrating part is what they put you through just to talk to a real live person, and when you finally do, you can't understand them because they don't speak fluid English!
Just cancelled my Verizon wireless because of bad customer service. They tried for 20 minutes to talk me out of cancelling. They told me my complaints would be going to their executive resolution department and they take every complaint seriously. I said that is BS. The only time I have had Verizon take anything seriously is when I sent my complaints to the FCC, State Consumer Agency, the BBB or a combination of the 3 agencies.
Then they had the nerve to tell me they could not send me an email of the cancellation. Are you kidding me? A company that is an alleged leader in technology can't send an email confirming an action taken by one of their customer service agencies.
Being in customer service, I hate reading articles like this.
More often then not, when I have a raging customer on the phone or in my store, it's not my company's fault. It's more often than not an over-expectation, or simply a spoiled adult who wants something for nothing.
Here's an insider secret. If you want special treatment, yelling and screaming is not the way. Be polite and work with the representative you have. Don't go straight for the manager, because the rep has the time to let the manager know, and if you are losing your cool already, the management will often offer less then the front line will.
Simply speaking, just be polite. No one you will ever get a chance to talk to is out to intentionally screw you over, UNLESS you try to make their day crap. Then expect to get the bare minimum and only what the rules prescribe.
I stay polite as long as it seems the person on the other end is truely trying to help me. Though I do tend to let a lot of emotion slip through especially if they are telling me to try solutions I already told them I tried or if they seem to not be understanding what my problem is no matter how many different ways I describe it.
I have found that mentioning that I might switch to a competitor gets my problem resolved quicker along with some sort of discount.
The problem really isn't them, but their employers. They tell their representatives that they have 5 minutes or whatever to finish the call. If they don't comply, they'll loose their jobs. Its that simple. If you are talking about a online computer problem and your not good at computers, 5 minutes won't get it. So 5 minutes comes and goes and they say: "Try that & if it don't work, call us back". Instead of working through the problem and making the person happy. But it's about Money, not wanting to hire enough people to handle the calls and the employer setting unrealistic requirements on the representative. The customers needs are not important. Once they've got your money, they don't care if you're needing help now. Click, next customer please!
I find the best way to handle issues is to bypass the telephone and contact the company by email or via the web form on their website.
This way the issue gets to the attention of someone who can resolve it and I don’t get the runaround and don’t have to tell the story repeatedly to people who don’t have the authority to get the matter straightened out.
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