Negative Reviews on Social Media Drive 88% of Consumers to a Competitor

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Online shopping is taking a severe toll on the brick-and-mortar retail business. However, the convenience of online shopping, both for consumers and retailers, remains a fragile process that can easily turn into a nightmare for both parties.

Email and social media have provided online retailers with the means to remain in constant contact with their customers and to troll for more. The implied promise is that the product or service on offer performs as advertised and that if it does not, the seller will either fix it, replace it, or refund the buyer’s money.

Any friction in the process that happens after the customer pays and receives the product is bad news for the seller. Satisfied customers most often do not praise the product or the seller for selling a good product at a good price with good service, but dissatisfied customers are far more likely to use social media to spread negative reviews.

Branding and marketing strategy Corra surveyed 2,000 U.S. consumers to discover how and why they wrote negative business reviews.

The top three reasons that customers complain are faulty products, hidden fee charges, and a rude or dismissive customer service representative. More than half of surveyed respondents (52%) have complained about a service issue and nearly a third (31%) have complained about a product issue. Another 17% have complained about a policy issue.

Why do customers complain? Nearly three quarters (73%) said they want to save other customers from having the same experience. Almost half say they want to see the company be more upfront or honest about fees or policies (48.7%) or they want a refund (48.3%).

How much friction are customers willing to put up with? According to the survey, 10% will give a company just one chance before moving on; the other 90% will give the company two chances.

Dissatisfied female customers are most likely to complain on Amazon, Facebook, or Yelp. Men are most likely to complain on Twitter, Facebook, or Reddit.

And which industries get the most complaints? Cable companies are by far, the most complained about: 72% of women and nearly 70% of men list cable providers among their bottom three businesses for customer service. Cellphone providers are next, cited by 54% of women and 57% of men. Third in the ranking are airlines, with 44% of women and 43% of men ranking airlines in their bottom three.

The full report is available at the Corra website.