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October 14, 2011

Spreading the Bad Word

Here’s a local behavioural trend that could have a massive effect on your bottom line.

If you were thinking Australians are a pretty compliant lot and prepared to put up with crappy service, it appears that you’re kidding yourself. We like to complain, it’s just that you might be the last to hear it.

A bad customer experience is likely to be shouted out to two and a half times more friends and family than a good service experience.

The 2011 American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, a survey across 10 countries and over 10,000 consumers, tells us that Australians follow only the Italians and Indians in telling as many people as possible about their bad customer experience.

33% think that companies are ‘paying less attention to customer service’

65% of us will always tell others about bad service

86% of Australians have walked away from a purchase thanks to bad service

It is so incredibly important for your brand to have developed a deep and enduring affinity with your customers in order to ride the speed humps of inevitable service slip-ups. With strong brand affinity, the chances of being forgiven are much higher and the likelihood of bad mouthing are commensurately lower.

75% have spent more with a company because of past positive customer service experiences

In addition, building a strong brand philosophy and clear implementation plan that enables your entire team, from the ground up is vital too. This helps you to either avoid bad service in the first place or at worst, rectify the situation so well that it becomes a good news story. This is only achievable if you have a brand with a plan and entrust your people with the discretion and ability to bring it to life every day.


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