When shopping online, reading product reviews is second nature to most customers today — and even in stores, it’s common to see shoppers pull up their phones to check out what others have said about a brand or a particular item.
And while fit and quality are obviously important factors in prompting consumers to leave feedback (positive or negative), they aren’t the only things that matter: Customer service is also a top consideration, as a new study from customer support company UJET and Branded Research Inc. reveals.
According to its survey of about 1,500 U.S. consumers, 55 percent of millennials said they were likely to write a negative online review of a company after an unsatisfactory customer service experience. This makes the under-40 set a riskier market than baby boomers, of whom only 38 percent said they would be likely to leave such a review.
More surprising, perhaps, is the share of millennials who confessed to lying about a negative experience in hopes of receiving a discount or coupon: Nearly one in four said they had tried the tactic, compared with 14 percent of Generation X respondents and 2 percent of boomers. (Whether they were successful is another story entirely, though as brands strive to maintain sterling reputations with as many four- and five-star reviews as possible, some less-than-honest shoppers have no doubt gotten their wish.)
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Despite their willingness to share their experiences online, millennials aren’t the group to whom customer service plays the biggest role, however. Instead, that distinction goes to older generations — no surprise, given they were raised with in-person interaction with local shopkeepers and sales associates. According to the survey, 71 percent of baby boomers said customer service was as important as product quality and price, versus 67 percent of Gen Xers and 60 percent of millennials.