Australian businesses lose more than $720 in future revenue for every negative customer experience, an EY survey has found.
The advisory interviewed 950 consumers across Australia about their experiences with telecommunications providers, utilities, insurers and banks in the past 12 months.
More than half (56 per cent) reported being dissatisfied with a service provider during that time, but only 61 per cent of those had contacted their supplier to have the complaint heard or resolved, and only 8 per cent of those were satisfactorily resolved.
Meanwhile, 47 per cent of unhappy customers complained about the issue to two or more friends family or colleagues, or posted social media comments. EY estimated each social media post to be viewed by 200 people on average.
EY put unhappy customers in four categories: “sulkers” who would be unlikely to spend more with the service provider; “walkers” from whom revenue would be lost forever; “private talkers” who were willing to discuss and resolve the problem; and “public talkers” who were likely to be active brand antagonists.
“Australians place a lot of trust in what our friends and family say and take recommendations on which companies to use or not use seriously,” EY advisory partner Jenny Young warned.
“Time and effort was the main reason people gave for not contacting a supplier but there were also a series of secondary reasons like not knowing or not being able to find the right contact details, or thinking that the experience would be too arduous and stressful.
“As well as creating open and responsive channels it is essential that staff have the knowledge and tools at hand to reconcile a customer’s enquiry quickly and efficiently, leading to a successful outcome.”
EY estimated there to be 56 million negative customer experiences in Australia a year, costing businesses a total of $40 billion – 6.9 per cent of total household expenditure.
From the report, here’s what most customers were unhappy about: