Bad Service Hurts Everyone

Retail Wire’s George Anderson gives the stats on the epidemic: 

  • 48% of consumers have left a negative review online, 73% of those have done so in the past year.
  • 79% said they would be “very” or “somewhat likely” to leave a negative review after bad customer service.
  • 41% say they have not gone online to express their unhappiness, but almost 2/3 of those regret not doing so.
  • 62% say they see how many stars a business has before making a purchase.
  • 45% say they have shared a bad experience with others by word-of-mouth. 

Retail has turned the tables on tradition- Crate & Barrel’s store started serving up food on theirs. While people aren’t looking for more furniture every week, they’ve gotta get some eats and might as well take their seats.


In a previous article, we explored such retail-driven experiences. But today we make this case: careful planning and monitoring are needed to make these experience-adds worthwhile. 

When retailers provide experiences they enter the world of hospitality. That’s the home of the original 5-star ratings! People will share opinions- that’s showbiz, baby. 

Shep Hyken cautions that “We train our customers to expect great service, so when customers don’t get it, they complain. Don’t promise something you can’t deliver.”


With bad customer service leading to an annual loss of over $62 billion in the US alone, one can see the compounding effect of negative experiences. These disappointments can often lead to bad cases of PTSD (Person Traumatized by Service Disappointments). 


Undertaking a new concept in a world of quick-fire reviews can be scary.


However, with great risk comes great reward:  Bain & Company reports that the experience economy is projected to grow to $8 trillion by 2030


It’s also true that feedback is plain old good for your business. Because even when it’s not a resounding “encore”, it can help you improve your offering to get there. 


Retail thought leader Ananda Chakravarty paints the bigger picture on this. “Given that the average American buys 65 garments per year (and that’s just garments — a tiny % of their 300,000 items owned), the 48% that file at least a single complaint a year doesn’t amount to much feedback…Those that give it care enough about the brand to make it better or enough about the experience to share immense frustration…Most customers don’t have the time or interest to complain to others, they will vote with their wallets first.”


Beyond bad reviews, or even just lost sales, there is another, data-driven way to ensure better customer experience. Analytics help you do the necessary backstage work to keep the show on the road- without having to receive painful reviews. 


Mark Ryski shared that “the most egregious reviews tend to be the ones that describe profound lapses in basic customer service – till lines a mile long, disrespectful staff interactions or store cleanliness/organization.” 


Retailers will benefit from investing in an analytics solution to notice these unfavorable patterns immediately. 


Customer and staff insights indicate wether to improve staffing levels, so that a store can to minimize queuing and ensure associates are present to deal with complaints timeously so that customers won’t have to go online to be heard.


With a comprehensive set of interaction metrics set against the customer journey, has been designed to help you to read the room and tailor your performance accordingly.