Jackie Huba

Driving Customers Crazy

I was a statistic today.

I yelled at a Fedex customer service rep on the phone. I lost the tracking number for a package we shipped on Friday. I called Fedex to discover its current whereabouts. Even though we have an account with Fedex, and I had answered a litany of questions ensuring my identify, the Fedex rep would not give me a tracking number. Instead, she gave me a “control number” and told me to “keep calling throughout the day to see if the package has been delivered.”

Not exactly the type of self-service utilizing high-level information technology that Fedex is known for.

When I asked why I couldn’t have the tracking number, she offered a vague reason about security. So I asked again, this time more forcefully. She hung up on me.

I lost it. Now, Fedex is on my list.

It seems I’m not alone, either. Customer anger is at an all-time high. A new report by the Customer Care Alliance illustrates some startling statistics:

* 8% of frustrated customers say they have cursed at a customer-service rep in the past year
* 28% said they had yelled or raised their voice
* 45% of households reported at least one “serious problem” in the past year with a product or service, and of those customers:
* Two-thirds had experienced “rage” over the way the incident was handled
* 16 percent of respondents said they desired “revenge” on the company
* 3 percent took legal action

The study found that most customers just want some compassion.
* 62% wanted a chance to vent and tell their side of the story
* 59% wanted a simple apology

Customers are yelling more frequently at customer service reps and venting more to friends and colleagues. Ninety percent of the angry customers reported that they shared the story with a friend. This group is on the cusp of the “customer vigilante” — someone who actively campaigns against you to all who will listen.

Fedex, are you listening?

One Response to “Driving Customers Crazy”

  1. CSR says:

    Guess what? You know the number 1 way to not get what you want out of a company? Yell at the rep. When you call into a company, you’re also speaking to an individual with thoughts and feelings, not simple Fedex or whatever. These are people who, as individuals, can make the decision to help you or not. Plenty of people call into my company and yell and scream their way right out of getting credit or any other benefit.

Leave a Reply