Women Are Less Tolerant of Bad Customer Service, Survey Says
The battle of the sexes may not be waged as fiercely as it once was, but on the front lines of the contact center, gender can still be a powerful weapon.
A new survey, commissioned by Amdocs to gauge consumers' reactions to bad customer service interactions, indicates there are some significant differences in the responses of men and women.
In the survey 1,000 people were asked questions regarding customer service operations in the telecommunications, cable, banking, and retail industries. Jayme Plunkett, the president of Decipher, the firm that conducted the survey on behalf of Amdocs, says the parameters of the survey called for an even split between men and women, making it possible to draw some gender-based comparisons.
Female respondents, for example, were slightly less tolerant of bad interactions. Sixty-one percent said they'd take off after no more than two such experiences, compared to 54 percent of the male respondents. The men seemed willing to forgive--at least to a point: 39 percent of them, as opposed to 32 percent of women, said it would take as many as five negative interactions to make them leave.
Another interesting finding in the survey data is that men were more likely than women to say that customer service has improved over the past five or 10 years; women were more apt to say that service has declined. (Overall, 63 percent of all respondents said that customer service was no better or even worse.)
Both genders remain fairly tolerant of hold times, however: 79 percent said they were willing to hold as long as 10 minutes. (Only 11 percent said they would wait "as long as it takes to get someone on the phone.")
Charles Born, vice president of global marketing at Amdocs, suggests that although that Amdocs still needs to mine the data from the survey further before reaching any long-term conclusions, he has a few theories to explain the top-level results. "It is a possibility that women use customer service more than men," he says.
Despite that caveat the respective reactions of men and women to bad service remain telling, at least within the confines of the survey. Women, much more than men, said a bad experience would leave them "a bit angry or upset," whereas more men than women said instead that such an experience would leave them "frustrated."
The next move also broke along gender lines, with men venting their feelings in a more public manner: More women than men said that they would send a complaint, or tell friends about the bad service. Men, on the other hand, were more likely than women to "do something to impact the company" or contact the media. (Men were also more likely than women to shout or use foul language.)
More men than women preferred the customer service offered by the banking and telecommunications industries, whereas women rated the service of the cable and retail industries higher than the men did.
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