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Study: Silent dissatisfied customers pose risk


Chicago - It may seem counterintuitive, but retailers should welcome the irate shopper who vents their frustration. That’s because it’s the mistreated customer who walks out the door in a silent huff who places the most revenue at risk, according to a collaborative study of dysfunctional retail touch-points conducted by LoyaltyOne, Verde Group and Dr. Deborah Small, professor of marketing and psychology, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

The March 2015 survey shows that approximately half of 2,500 U.S. consumers polled reported experiencing a problem on their last shopping trip. Of those customers, 81% decided not to contact the retailer about the issue. Among these silent shoppers, 32% said they were unlikely to recommend the retailer to friends and family, putting these shoppers at-risk of decreasing their spend with the retailer.

By comparison, the study shows that shoppers who did notify retailers of their poor experience and had their problem completely resolved were 84% less likely than silent shoppers to be at risk of decreasing their spend.

Below is the ranking of revenue at risk from silent dissatisfied customers per category:

• Mass merchandisers are putting 25% of potential revenue at risk.

• Apparel retailers are putting 16% of potential revenue at risk.

• Department stores are putting 15% of potential revenue at risk,

• Drug stores are putting 12% of potential revenue at risk,

• Grocers are putting 11% of potential revenue at risk,

Shoppers frustrated by check out wait times reported spending 23% more than the average mass retail customer ($545 vs. $446 a quarter). And shoppers troubled by an associate’s not-my-department attitude reported spending twice as much as the average department store customer ($543 vs. $261 a quarter)

Particularly in their online channel, customers who cited their inability to obtain a specific date or time to receive an online order reported spending 66% more in the category ($416 vs. $250 a quarter).

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