Rage Against Customer Service Reps Is on the Increase

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If you’ve ever yelled at a customer service representative when reporting a problem with a product or service, you’re not the only one.

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 — 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, and cursing up from 7 to 13 percent,” a press release about the survey 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 percent 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 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 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? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

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