Customers aren't going to take it...any more

Angry customer
Angry customer

If you have interacted with a company at any time over the past year, the results of a recent Harris poll may be of no surprise to you. The survey found that 87% of adults who had taken part in an online transaction were disappointed with the experience, furthermore the survey indicated that 41% of those who had issues went to a competitor rather than deal with a substandard experience.

This is bad news for companies but good news for consumers, since one of the best ways to tell a company to improve is to take your dollars elsewhere.

Normally surveys and numbers don't excite me too much, but the trend I am seeing from this survey has me elated even as companies around me are declaring bankruptcy. The survey showed me that consumers are feeling more empowered and starting to stand up to shoddy behavior from the companies they interact with. Harris found that 4 out of 5 customers shared their negative experiences with others to protect them from a poor experience.

This information sharing wasn't limited to blogs and complaints in Facebook statuses which took up just 7% of the online portion of complaints, but through interactions in the real world, which is where 82% of adults took their complaints. While the offline modes they chose aren't as extreme as putting up a billboard to warn other consumers, the reality is that consumers are standing up for themselves.

I hope that this survey is an indicator that consumers as a whole won't put up with bad customer service and poor online transactions. If more people start calling companies on their actions and taking their dollars elsewhere the marketplace as a whole will improve as these poor performers are pushed to the bottom quicker.