A small US-based survey suggested that consumers are largely displeased and easily angered by the customer service assistance they experience in shops, The Hill reported, adding that some expressed being open to seeking "revenge."
These intense feelings of anger were not random comments - the survey had a theme in mind at the time it was conducted. According to the 2022 National Customer Rage survey, conducted by a large consumer care consulting agency, evidence from the interviews revealed that customer anger goes far beyond dissatisfaction with their purchases. Customers often felt a sense of "rage" toward companies providing goods and services.
This anger has led to continued outbursts against customer service representatives. According to the survey, around 1 in 10 people will engage in "revenge" often in the form of belittlement, badgering, and other aggressive behaviors toward representatives. Some would even go as far as threatening representatives.
“I don’t want to sound too ‘Pollyanna,’ but it’s kind of horrifying,” Scott M. Broetzmann, the President and CEO of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting and conductor of the survey, told Nexstar of the report’s results.
According to the survey, customers having issues with services or products has increased from 66 to 74% since 2020. 63% of those respondents have expressed a feeling of "rage" and related emotions while trying to resolve issues.
Some consumers admit to behaving uncivily
The survey also suggests that nearly half of customer interactions with customer service have ended in yelling and raised voices, and 17% of consumers surveyed admitted to behaving in a less-than-civil manner toward a company
"We’re also yelling at and/or raising our voices during 43% of our interactions with customer service, and not because of an issue with its products or services, but due to a perceived difference of values or beliefs, such as religion, politics, gender issues or vaccination and mask mandates", the Hill added.
However, the report also noted that many consumers have a different definition of what counts as "uncivil" behavior. Plus, a quarter of the people surveyed didn’t think that “threats, humiliation, foul language, and lying” were uncivil at all, the report stated.
The rise in threats appeared in full force during some of the earliest stages of the pandemic, Broetzmann said.
“What constitutes reasonable behavior in the public square is being redefined. And it’s kind of scary,” he said.