One Mistake And You're Toast: Consumers Are Quick To Dump Brands

Consumers demand flawless service — and will bolt if they get anything less, according to the New Rules Of Customer Engagement, a global study by Freshworks.

Of the individuals polled, 56% have stopped doing business with a brand or changed over to a competitor alter a single bad experience in the last 12 months.

U.S. customers are the most likely to split — 69% have done so. French shoppers are least likely — only 40% have walked out on a brand after an aggravating experience.  

Overall, 60% will report a bad experience, either in person or online on peer sites, review forums or social media.

And here’s the takeaway for email teams: Email is the most likely channel to cause a mishap — because it’s by far the most widely used. Of those surveyed, 77% regularly interact with brands via email, compared to 54% who use the telephone. Another 42% utilize mobile apps, and 39% use live chat.

This shows that brands better have their automation in place for sending transactional emails and fast responses to queries.  



In addition, 36% choose email for service interactions with a brand, compared with 29% who prefer voice and 21% who prefer live chat.

Email largely wins across the globe — 36% in the U.S. prefer it and 44% in the UK. But two countries prefer voice — India and Germany. Email comes up second in both cases.

Not that email stands alone. Of the consumers polled across the globe, 70% globally prefer brands that provide service via multiple channels — i.e., email, chat, social. 

In India, 90% feel that way, compared with 73% in Germany, 68% in the U.S., 65% in France and 63% in the UK.

Worldwide, 67% use three or more channels, and 39% use five or more. Freshworks surveyed 3,000 consumers across several countries and regions.

The study shows that 47% of consumers have higher expectations rom their favorite brands than they did two years ago. For 15%, those hopes have increased significantly.

But watch out for the 11% whose expectations have decreased.

The study also found that 31% of consumers across the globe are willing to pay more for a great customer service experience. But don’t try to make a profit center out of this just yet — 31% strongly disagree with that proposition, and 16% demur to an extent.

Only 14% strongly concur, 17% somewhat agree and 22% are neutral. 

Finally, here’s a handy checklist of what to correct. The most common customer frustrations, most of which concern phone interactions, are: 

  • Having to repeat myself over and over — 25%
  • Waiting long enough before receiving any resolution to my issue — 21%
  • Difficulty in locating and contacting a customer service representative — 17% 
  • Switching between multiple service representatives/teams for a resolution — 16% 
  • Facing service representatives who lack the knowledge to solve my issue — 11%
  • Meeting with rude and unfriendly representatives during an interaction — 5%
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