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Better Business Bureau Survey Demonstrates Consequences of Poor Customer Service

August 02, 2012

You know customer service is least in theory. You may have a hazy idea that providing poor customer service has negative consequences to your business. But would this idea become even more real if you could attach real numbers to poor customer service? Maybe you can.

According to a new survey conducted by the Better Business Bureau, fully 30 percent of customers reported that they will never return to a business that has treated them improperly, or provided a faulty product. In addition, only 28 percent of unhappy customers would complain directly to the business, either via e-mail or phone. Twenty-two percent of customers would go to an online review site and post a negative review of the business, while 20 percent would pass along their bad reviews via word-of-mouth. Of course, in an era of social networking, it's very easy for a consumer to share a bad experience with hundreds or even thousands of other people.

Steve Bernas, the CEO and president of the Better Business Bureau, said businesses need to remember that they only have “one chance to make a lasting impression, and you don’t want that to be the last impression, because they’ll find somebody else … who they’ll shop and buy from. and it hurts you financially.”

Bernas said that this should be something of a message to companies putting off improving their customer service and customer retention efforts.

“The wakeup call to businesses [is] that they need to take care of their customer services, and make the consumers happy, because if you don’t do it, somebody else will,” he said.

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Edited by Brooke Neuman