Keep calm, walk away - Australian reaction to bad service

According to American Express research, eighty-six per cent of Australians prefer to take their business elsewhere after receiving poor customer service. Photo / Thinkstock
According to American Express research, eighty-six per cent of Australians prefer to take their business elsewhere after receiving poor customer service. Photo / Thinkstock

Four in five Australians have abandoned making a purchase after receiving poor customer service, but prefer telling friends about their experience over getting hot-headed with service providers.

Eighty-six per cent of Australians have walked out of stores that deliver poor service, making them second only to Mexicans as the nation most likely to trigger lost sales, according to research by American Express.

But staying cool under pressure is also a national trait, with just 61 per cent of Australian consumers admitting they had lost their temper with customer service representatives.

Mexican consumers are the most hot-headed, with 86 per cent saying they have lost their temper, followed by consumers in France, India, Italy and Canada, the credit card company said after conducting online consumer surveys in 10 countries earlier this year.

And when sparks fly, almost two-thirds of Mexicans will hang up the phone and a third will storm out of the store, while two-thirds of Australians will insist on speaking with a supervisor.

Americans are the most likely to appeal to authority, with 74 per cent demanding a supervisor, followed by 69 per cent of British consumers and 64 per cent of Canadians.

But North Americans are also the most likely to use profanity with customer service staff and threaten to switch to a competitor if things don't improve.

Australians prefer to tell their friends, with 65 per cent saying they spread bad word-of-mouth about poor service "all the time" to, on average, 23 people.

That puts local consumers second only to Mexicans as the most likely consumers worldwide to vent their frustrations among friends and colleagues.

Indian consumers are the most generous, with two thirds spreading positive word-of-mouth about good service, compared to 58 per cent of Mexicans and half of Australians.

- AAP

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