The good, the bad, and the ugly: the impact of customer service

Published April 5, 2013
Last updated June 29, 2020

When Zendesk teamed up with the fine folks at Dimensional Research to answer the question, "What exactly is the long-term impact of good customer service?", some of the results came as no surprise, at least for people who have long worked in the field. After all, other research reveals that good service really does matter—and that bad service can harm your business. However, Dimensional Research's data showed how impactful positive and negative interactions can be over the long term.

Customers have long memories

First the good news: about one-quarter of surveyed consumers who have a good customer service experience will hold onto that interaction for two years or longer, which means long-term trust has been created. That translates into real potential for renewed business. However, if your company fails to offer satisfactory customer service, brace yourself for an uncomfortable trend: nearly 40 percent of customers who receive less-than-stellar support will actively avoid that business for a similar length of time.

What's even more concerning is that high-income households are especially prone to hold grudges against businesses that fail to provide a good experience to its customers. In other words, alienating consumers with the most disposable income could have devastating effects on your business.

Bad service? Get ready for ugly reviews

When customer service falls short, it not only provokes more intense reactions from customers, it spreads like a virus over social media, rears its ugly head in online reviews on sites such as Yelp, and directly influences people directly connected to those aggrieved consumers.

Want more information about what our research revealed? See the handy infographic below!