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Why Consumers Complain About Brands

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Consumers are most likely to complain about a brand when they encounter poor service, according to recent research from Corra.

The report was based on data from a survey of 2,000 consumers in the United States.

Some 52% of respondents say they are likely to complain publicly about a brand if it provides poor customer service; 31% say they are likely to complain about a product issue; 17% say they are likely to complain about a policy issue.

The specific problems most likely to inspire complaints are faulty products, hidden fees, rude customer service representatives, and products that don't match their descriptions.


Nearly three-quarters (73%) of consumers say they leave negative feedback about brands in order to save other people from having the same experiences.

Some 49% of consumers say they leave negative feedback in hopes of making companies more up front about fees/policies; 48% complain because they want refunds.

Some 90% of consumers say they would tolerate only two instances of bad customer service before giving up on a brand; 10% would tolerate only one instance of bad customer service.

About the research: The report was based on data from a survey of 2,000 consumers in the United States age 18 and older.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Neil Mahoney Mon Apr 10, 2017 via web

    Re customer satisfaction: How about the readability of information. Your table was impossible to read.

  • by Vahe, MarketingProfs Mon Apr 10, 2017 via web

    Hi, Neil. If you click on the various images, you'll get larger (and, hopefully, more readable) versions.

  • by Bernhard Ecklin Tue Apr 11, 2017 via web

    thank you Neil, great, very helpful article. I've learned a lot.

    I'd like to emphasize once more also the crucial importance of correct customer Segmentation when it comes to customer satisfaction

    The risk of seeing customers not satisfied with your offer raises also whenever you targeted insufficiently well.

    That means, a unsatisfied customer must not forcefully be the result of a "bad product or service" but can simply be the consequence of wrong segment-aiming by your company...as if you would try to sell Angus Beef to vegetarians..nothing wrong with a perfect world-class product...but the wrong customer segment targeted.

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