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Why People React Differently to Bad Customer Service

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Why People React Differently to Bad Customer Service

Not all bad shopping experiences end the same, a new report shows.

Depending on which industry the bad experience occurred, customers responded differently.While more than 60 percent of shoppers who had a bad exchange with a fast-food chain, credit-card issuer, rental car agency or hotel cut back on their spending or abandoned the company completely, customers were far more forgiving of retailers and Internet service providers, research from the Temkin Group revealed.

The study discovered overall that TV service providers delivered the  poorest experiences over the last six months, with grocery stores having the least.

The research also shows that ING Direct, Holiday Inn Express, Whole Foods and Holiday Inn have the fewest occurrences of bad experiences, and Best Buy, QVC, Gap, and eBay have the most.

How companies respond to those experiences also plays a role in how likely a shopper is to come back to them. When consumers felt a company responded poorly, nearly three-quarters stopped or decreased their spending with that company, the research found.

When companies had a good response, however, less than 20 percent of customers decreased their spending —  and more than a third increased the amount they spent.

"Every company delivers some bad experience, but the good ones build loyalty by quickly responding to these issues and learning from their mistakes," said Bruce Temkin, customer experience transformist and managing partner of Temkin Group.

Social media has quickly become the tool of choice for frustrated customers looking to vent about a bad experience.

Use of Twitter for complaints has more than doubled over the last year, with more than one-third of shoppers between the ages of 18 and 24 writing about their bad — and good — experiences on Facebook, the report shows.

The report, "What Happens After A Good or Bad Experience?"wasbased on s surveys of 5,000 U.S. consumers.

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Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.