Monday, September 17, 2007


RightNow Technologies has recently sponsored a survey that was performed by Harris Interactive and which provides some interesting statistics. The source I used did not discuss the methodology of the survey but did note they sampled 2,000 adults. Some of the more interesting findings are:
1. 80% of the respondents vowed never to buy from the same company after a negative experience. This value is up from 68% that was noted in a 2006 survey.
2. About 28% said they cursed as they wrangled with the customer reps during their phone call.
3. About 19% admitted shouting at the customer rep.
4. Harris Interactive provided some further detail by area of the country.
4a. Northeastern customers are unlikely to get emotional - they just take their wallet to another company.
4b. Midwestern customers are most likely to swear (34%).
4c. Southern customers are least likely to swear but 12% fantasized about picketing or defacing the company's headquarters.
4d. Western customers are more likely that the average customer to turn to the web and vent on a blog. 83% said they would never do business again with the offending company.

These statistics are not unreasonable. The customer today is much more sophisticated and more demanding. It is showing up more and more in the research. The companies that maintain a strong customer focus will outperform financially those companies that do not have a customer focus. I demonstrated this effect that improved financial performance coincides with a customer focus with a colleague in a recent article "Customer Focus: One key to Financial Success."

These statistics also support my notion that dissatisfiers are much more important to manage than satisfiers. Customer surveys should focus on the dissatisfiers rather than the "feel good" satisfiers. Managing dissatisfiers is where the action is.

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