KSL INVESTIGATES

Gephardt Busts Inflation: When many companies are struggling in customer service, will complaining get you results?

May 18, 2023, 10:50 PM | Updated: May 19, 2023, 6:28 am

SALT LAKE CITY — The name “Karen” has become synonymous with shrill complaining. But let’s be clear: it is not just folks named Karen who have been irked by poor restaurant service, mishaps at a store or on the horn with a company’s customer service.

According to Arizona State University’s latest National Customer Rage Survey, “Americans are experiencing more product and service problems than ever before.”

Researchers found 74%, nearly three-out-of-four people, reported “experiencing a product or service problem in the past year.”

But does complaining do you any good? Sure, said customer service consultant Micah Solomon.

“In this age of social media…if I have bad service, I can tell literally thousands of people,” he said. “These things tend to spread and spread and spread, what I like to call ‘word of thumb’ marketing – right on your phone.”

Solomon works with companies to help them deliver better customer service. He says savvy companies will pay attention to complaints.

“It’s much, much less expensive to keep a customer rather than trying to find a new one,” he explained.

Now more than ever, unsatisfied customers look to take their business elsewhere.

“The percentage of customers seeking revenge for their hassles has tripled since 2020,” noted the National Customer Rage Survey. In addition to bolting to a competitor, more customers are raising their voices or blasting the company on social media.

Part of the issue is we are coming out of a couple of years of the pandemic economy where companies struggled to hire help. It has led to longer response times and in some cases, less engaged workers.

If you chose to complain, be nice and not just because it is a nice thing to do. A study conducted by WalletHub found that people who complain respectfully have a better chance of getting something — be it a refund, a coupon for a future discount or even just an apology and a promise to do better in the future.

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Gephardt Busts Inflation: When many companies are struggling in customer service, will complaining get you results?