Better Business Bureau has recently released its list of the Top 10 Industries with the most customer complaints.  One measure of customer satisfaction is the number of complaints received. Most companies measure service calls but not all measure complaints as a separate measurement, though a complaint  is very different from a service call.

Why are complaints important?

Normally a complaint is a measure of the failure of a service call or multiple calls. So measuring complaints is important because it can show where the service may be failing or where other parts of the organization are failing that are not covered by the service organization.

What to measure?

The Better Business Bureau measured both the number of complaints and the number of complaints that are resolved within 30 days. Here are the two tables ranked by volume of complaints (most to least)  and followed by the more telling data:  the percent of complaints resolved within 30 days (most to least).

Top 10 Industries sorted by volume of complaints received.

Top 10 Industries sorted by volume of complaints resolved.

The banks are doing the best to resolve the customer issues: 100% within 30 days. While the Cellular phone companies have the most, followed by TV and telephone companies, they all rank fairly high at resolving customer complaints, all in the high 90 percentile. It is the companies who fail to resolve customer issues quickly or at all that are the ones that need the most focus.  Of course, there are individual organizations who will rank high or low within their industry.

Implications of Complaints:

There is a body of customer satisfaction theory that says that if a customer has a problem that is resolved quickly, they have higher loyalty to the brand than if they had no problems at all. Every organization should track complaints and both speed of resolution and ensuring resolution is finally reached, as opposed to just measuring the volume of complaints.

Other Methods of Measuring Customer Satisfaction with Complaints:

Often a post complaint survey process with those who have completed a complaint process (ie the complaint was considered closed by the organization) will yield interesting results, either positive or negative.

Tracking and measuring complaints is an important of a customer satisfaction strategy.

What is your organization doing about complaints? Write comments below.

P.S. Many thanks to HuffPost Social News  that provided the Better Business Bureau data in their article: Customer Service Fails: 10 Industries that draw the most Customer Service Complaints.


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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

3 Responses to “Top 10 Industries with the Most Customer Complaints”

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