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Study Notes: Research Into Customer Behaviour

Studies of customer behaviour show that common complaints associated with poor service include:

  • being passed from person-to-person
  • the phone being constantly engaged
  • being made to wait without explanation
  • taking customers out of turn
  • giving the wrong information
  • having unfamiliar knowledge of products and/or services
  • showing a lack of interest in helping
  • promising more than they give
  • not being called back
  • distracted or outright rude service.

Research about customer behaviour also has some interesting findings (accepted wisdom in the customer service field), as follows.

  • Research shows that only one in 20 dissatisfied customers will ever ‘formally’ complain. However, they will tell ten others about their bad experience. When customers have a good experience, they may tell about three other people about it.
  • The number one reason customers stop doing business with a company, even after years of patronage, is poor customer service. Nearly seven out of ten people take their business elsewhere over a customer issue.
  • Research indicates that it costs between six and eight times as much to attract a new customer as it does to hold onto an existing customer.
  • Up to 70 per cent of customers who do complain will undertake repeat business with the same company if they feel their complaint has been resolved to their satisfaction.
  • 80 per cent of an organisation’s revenue comes from 20 per cent of their customers.
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