Thought leadership

 Customers who contact a company to make a complaint are often left unsatisfied due to the speed in with their issue is dealt with, according to the latest consumer insight from eDigitalResearch. On average, the results show that companies are taking longer to reply to those customers who contact a company to make a complaint compared to those that send positive feedback.

 Of those consumers surveyed who had recently made a complaint, under half (44%) said that they heard back from the company they were contacting within 24 hours, and another 12% said that it took over a week for the company to contact them.

 In comparison, 68% of consumers heard back from a company within 24 hours when providing positive feedback. However, 17% of those who provided positive feedback from a company heard nothing back, despite respondents indicating that they still expect a response to acknowledge their contact.

 When asked about their last contact with a company, over half (58%) of those surveyed said that they used email to get in touch with a brand or business, whilst around one third (31%) opted to call the company direct. In fact, phone is the most popular channel to contact a brand about a complaint, highlighting the immediate nature that the majority of complainers want and expect their issue to be dealt with.

 Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, explains, “If a person is picking up the phone or sending off an email to complain, then chances are that they’re an unhappy customer. Their contact with a brand is a prime opportunity to impress these unhappy customers and connect them back into the business but these results suggest that, more often than not, brands are passing this opportunity by.”

 Complainers are also more likely to feel that they have had to put in more effort than they expected to contact a company. When asked about how the process of their last contact with a company left them feeling, almost  half (42%) of those with a complaint said that they felt worse after contact – even 10% of those that provided positive feedback said they had a poorer view of the company after getting in touch.

 Derek continues, “Contacting a brand for whatever reason should be as seamless and pain-free as possible. Whether you call a company, email or contact them on social media, a customer’s contact experience should remain the same. As the number of ways that we can communicate with each other and brands continues to grow, it is important that the right measures are put into place to ensure that customers receive the same treatment no matter what contact channel they use or what they are contacting about. Using initiatives such as real time customer feedback to gain an immediate insight into customer experiences ensures that customer service staff handle contact fairly and efficiently”.

 The results come from eDigitalResearch’s first Customer Experience white paper, examining loyalty, customer contact and brand relationships, the full results of which will be available at the end of July.

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