2023 National Customer Rage survey: key findings for your business

We’ve all been there. Your internet goes out while working from home, or your streaming service crashes on family movie night. So you call your provider.

You’re instantly greeted by a long prompt telling you to press one to hear hours of operation, press two to find a location near you and press three to speak to a representative. 

After pressing three the prompt continues with additional menu options, such as pressing four to speak to someone in billing and payments. Five buttons later, you’re talking to a contact center agent. 

If you’ve ever felt frustrated with a customer service experience, you’re not alone. Your customers are feeling angry about poor tech support experiences, too. 

According to the 2023 customer service report, 63% of customers feel angry when dealing with a serious service problem. Below, we review this year’s findings, what they mean for your business and how you can improve the customer experience

What is the customer rage survey?

Customer Care Measurement and Consulting conducts the 2023 National Customer Rage Survey in collaboration with Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business. The survey highlights problems customers encounter when trying to get help with product or service challenges. 

The goal is to help companies understand customers’ current challenges and ultimately create a better customer experience. Customer Care Measurement and Consulting releases a new edition of the customer rage survey every year. 

How customer rage hurts your business

Customer rage can have devastating consequences for your business. The 2023 survey found that companies risk over $887 billion due to poor customer service. 

Inadequate handling of complaints also hurts your efforts to improve customer retention. Research by Forbes found 96% of customers are willing to leave a business after one bad customer service experience

Top highlights from this year’s customer rage survey

If you haven’t had a chance to read this year’s survey yet, don’t worry. Below, we share a few key findings from the most recent customer rage report.

Customers want to speak to a human

The number one frustration for customers is listening to long prompts before being able to speak to a person. In a world where everything is digital, this may seem like a surprise. But customers crave the ability to interact with a human who can help resolve their issues. 

69% of customers said they want an authentic interaction filled with compassion and kindness. Despite technological innovations, the ability to speak with a contact center agent is still important to your customers. 

Customers venting frustration on social media is becoming a common practice

Customers increasingly turn to social media to vent frustrations and demand accountability from brands for poor customer service. The rate of customers reviewing brands on social media platforms has doubled since 2020. Facebook has become the most popular channel for customers to vent their frustration with businesses, followed by Twitter. 

However, social media venting doesn’t always lead to resolutions for customers’ ongoing issues. Over half of the customers who complained on social media experienced a negative NPS because companies either never engaged with them or provided an inadequate response to their complaints. 

Customers are angry

People are losing their patience when seeking out customer service. 43% of customers reported yelling at a service agent. In fact, customers are so angry that nearly one in 10 customers seek personal revenge against contact center agents. 

Companies are letting customers down

Unfortunately, customers don’t always get the resolution they want when they make a complaint about customer service. The largest gaps between customer desires and what they received are:

  • For the company to treat them with dignity
  • An answer in conversational language (not a scripted response)
  • Assurance the issue won’t happen again
  • Financial compensation

The results aren’t great for companies. Nearly two-thirds of customers aren’t satisfied with the business’s actions to handle their problems. 

Some industries handle customer complaints better than others

Levels of complainant satisfaction also varied by industry. While customer satisfaction was high among internet providers (53%), telecommunications made this year’s list of business sectors with poor customer satisfaction ratings. Only 33% of telecommunication customers were happy with the quality of service they received. 

What the customer rage survey insights mean for your company

So how should you apply the findings from this year’s customer rage survey to your business? Below, we share a few ways to use this year’s report to improve your tech support.

Provide an option to speak to a human

Beyond customer self-serve support, sometimes customers may need to speak to a human for more step-by-step guidance. Make sure customers are clear on how to get in touch with your contact center for further assistance. 

In addition, cut any fluff out of your prompts. Customer patience is running thin with lengthy prompts. By making your prompt polite and concise, you can help them quickly get to where they want to go, minimizing frustration.

As our lives become more digital, a tech glitch can impede our ability to get our work done, or disrupt valuable leisure time with family. Therefore, it’s vital to focus on increasing your first call resolution rates (FCR) so customers can get back to enjoying your services as quickly as possible. 78% of customers will continue to do business with a company if they receive excellent customer service. This is essential for lowering business expenses, since retaining customers is much cheaper than trying to attract new ones. 

Increasing first call resolution not only saves your company more money, but also increases customer satisfaction. Additionally, FCR can increase employee retention rates among contact center agents.

Create a more personalized, tailored experience

Personalization is critical to improving customer support. Nearly 75% of customers who complained via social media said the company didn’t tailor its response to their needs. 

A lack of personalization in tech support can increase customer churn rates and business expenses. Even if your customers have the same smartphone model, they may have different versions or layouts due to software updates.

This means your agents’ devices may not match your customers’ devices or software, leading to ineffective guidance and increased frustration. Using tools such as virtual devices and apps, agents can switch between multiple versions of a device or software to provide a more tailored tech support experience. Switching to virtual devices and apps helps increase first-call resolution and customer satisfaction.

Improve agent performance through proper training

Equipping contact centers with the right tools and training helps boost agent confidence and improves your company’s net promoter score (NPS)

Your company should provide agents with the resources to locate answers to customers’ pressing questions quickly. This can be accomplished by using a comprehensive contact center solution to help agents quickly master new electronic devices or software. You might also use analytics to better understand performance and help them improve their performance on future calls with customers.

For bilingual or non-English speaking agents, you’ll want to ensure they can access the same reliable resources in their particular language. When agents can confidently address customer service challenges, they help increase customer satisfaction, reduce business costs and drive digital adoption.

Learn how Ozmo for Agents helped one regional MNO achieve a 70% agent confidence rate and exceed all KPIs. 

Speak in layperson’s terms

Customers crave being able to interact with a human. Therefore, when they do, make sure your agents don’t sound robotic. Avoid confusing jargon and encourage agents to use a conversational tone so customers can easily understand what they need to do and quickly get back to enjoying the services your company provides. 

Compensate customers appropriately

Contrary to popular belief, offering customers their money back isn’t always the best resolution to customer complaints. The 2023 Customer Rage survey found that customer satisfaction is lowest (only 48%) when companies solely offer monetary compensation. 

When customers received monetary and non-monetary compensation, customer satisfaction rates increased to 60%. What do customers want beyond money? According to this year’s survey, most customers wish for contact center agents to treat them with dignity and respect. They also want to feel heard and receive assurance that the problem they’re experiencing won’t happen again. 

Alleviate customer rage by creating a better support experience

Even the best telecom and broadband providers experience occasional technical hiccups. The quality of your customer service experience can make the difference between a happy client and a customer raging on the phone. 

To craft a better customer experience, give the customer what they want. Ensure there are ways for them to speak to a human and make it clear how they can get in touch. Eliminate any fluff from lengthy prompts. Additionally, equip your agents with the proper resources and training to provide the personalized service experience customers crave. 

By improving the customer experience, your broadband or telecom business can diffuse tense customer interactions, increase your NPS score and boost customer satisfaction. 

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Are you looking for a way to grow agent confidence, increase NPS and exceed your KPIs? Ozmo’s omnichannel tech support is trusted by Verizon, TELUS and more. Learn more about the future of tech support today!