National Customer Rage Study
CCMC’s Customer Rage Study is an independent analysis of the state of corporate complaint handling in America. The Customer Rage Study offers a clear comparison of customer satisfaction with corporate customer care efforts across decades.
A leader in the customer care movement for nearly 45 years, CCMC principals’ work has contributed to a fundamental shift in business’ customer care attitude over the decades. Businesses have moved from what was us versus them thinking to an understanding that customer care is fundamental to business success.
The History of the Customer Rage Study
CCMC’s Marc Grainer and John Goodman were involved in the seminal 1976 White House Study that provided a host of provocative and first-ever insights about American customer care and its potential for profit-making.
Key findings that initially caught business’ attention included:
- A positive relationship between complaining and continued brand loyalty – a relationship that, in 1976, applied even when complaints were not satisfactorily resolved; and
- When complaint handling resulted in satisfied customers, businesses could experience a very favorable return on investment.
As a result of this study, corporate America reevaluated the worth of complaint-handling practices and invested billions of additional dollars in customer care.
Customer care call centers, satisfaction surveys, employee training programs, and the creation of “customer relations managers” are only a few of the many expanded customer-friendly initiatives adopted by businesses.
That said, it continues to be true that customer rage remains shockingly high for all of businesses’ efforts. It is also true that corporate America is not getting the bang for its buck spent on customer complaint handling that is indeed possible. Billions of dollars in potential revenue continue to be lost to doing some wrong things and many of the right things the wrong way.
Since the White House study, CCMC has led nine Rage Studies, the last completed in February 2020 in collaboration with WP Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, and KraftHeinz, to monitor the customer care landscape and the effects of corporate complaint handling on customer satisfaction.
Each wave of the Customer Rage Study has relied on substantially the same core customer care questions that were used in the 1976 White House research. The focus continues to be on the most serious problems with products/services experienced in the year prior to each study.
Recent waves have added special questions to address new channels for complaint handling, including corporate websites and social media channels. Each wave of the Customer Rage Study has compared its findings to those of the 1976 White House study findings.
Who Benefits from the Customer Rage Study’s Findings?
These findings are relevant for any B2C business, and they are especially pertinent to those in the following groups:
- Service directors;
- Marketing and digital marketing;
- Quality and continuous improvement;
- Finance and Chief Operating Officers;
- Human Resources, and
- Chief Technology Officers.
Why is the Customer Rage Study Helpful?
Our research findings provide a commentary on the state of customer care in America.
While most companies continue to invest significantly in improving their customer care game, the Customer Rage Study suggests that many are focusing on the wrong things or poorly executing the right approach to customer care.
The consequences of these “good intentions” are wasted resources, tons of lost revenue, and a mounting flood of negative word of mouth and social media vitriol.
This research, if taken to heart, with appropriate changes made in business research and customer complaint handling implementation, will enhance business’s bottom line and help with customer AND employee retention.
In addition, consumer advocacy groups will benefit from this research for their efforts to improve the customer experience.