We've all been there, becoming angry and frustrated after a bad customer experience.
But as The Wall Street Journal and others reported this month, customers are increasingly rageful about service they view as subpar. Full of anger, they turn to online revenge, according to the latest National Customer Rage Survey from Arizona State University's W.P. Carey School of Business. The survey's findings offer lessons for dealerships looking to both digitize and beef up their customer service.
About 32 percent of unhappy customers surveyed shared their dissatisfaction on social media, the Journal story noted. That's more than twice the customers reported engaging in the practice in a previous iteration of the study in 2020. Driving the dissatisfaction, nearly 75 percent of the 1,000 consumers surveyed reported having a product or service problem in the last 12 months.
Auto dealerships should pay attention to this as they digitize and modernize their operations.
Technology can improve the lives of everyone involved, both in a dealership's back end and the part of the business facing customers. Companies peddling dealership management systems and other retail technology software insist their advances will make everything easier and smoother, leaving users happier and customers satisfied.
Maybe. But it is important to remember customer satisfaction as the digitization process drags on.
When technology comes into play, businesses often pay lip service to the idea that it will enhance customer service or at least won't harm high customer service standards in place. We all know that's not always true. A new technology can end up creating a dismal user experience despite best intentions.
Dealers who are digitizing their operations should consider that, especially when irate customers are increasingly taking to social media to punish businesses for any perceived infraction.
The lesson: Make sure your customer is a happy camper first and foremost. An unhappy one is likely to share the disappointment all over the web, which can put a big wrench into dealerships' bottom lines.