Trillium Insights

Thoughts and Insights from Trillium's Practice Leaders

What is the Real Business Impact of a Bad Customer Experience?

What is the Real Business Impact of a Bad Customer Experience?

Companies that continually deliver poor customer service go out of business very quickly.  Given the availability and ease for customers to switch to a competitor, customers are becoming even less tolerant of poor customer experience.  It does not matter the type of business you have or the product or service you sell, your customers want to know that you are listening and are responding quickly to their requests.

Losing Returning Customers

The cost of losing a customer is higher than you might think. Not only is there the economic impact of the lost customer, there is a real cost to replace a customer.  Depending on which KPI’s you use and the specific models you subscribe to, the cost of acquiring a new customer is 5 to 10 times greater than the cost of keeping an existing one.

Your customers will publicize their experiences on social media

Word of mouth experience is very powerful.  In the past, the generally accepted “rule of thumb” was that a single unhappy customer tells approximately 10 others about their poor experience. This was true before the wide proliferation of social media.  Now, one unresolved customer complaint can have a significant impact on your company’s reputation instantly.

If there are multiple negative articles about your product, the potential risk of a lost customer is over 59%.

In order to get your arms around the issues/opportunities that exist within your company, you should use the following 3 step process:



Layout your customer experience roadmap journey.  This is accomplished by analyzing your current environment to identify your customer interactions and touch points.  This will identify the areas where you risk of having broken processes or poor customer experience.  Areas could include:


  • Customer Service
  • Billing
  • Delivery status
  • Collections

The result of the analysis is a roadmap that provides a risk/reward-based plan.


Take action based on the roadmap of the business risk and impact to the company. Many organizations tackle a few of the low hanging fruit activities to build momentum and buy-in within the organization.   The key to this journey is listening and how the messaging is communicated.  Communicate early and often about what activities are being performed and what the expected outcome of those activities will be.  How it will affect the customer’s journey to your brand.


Over 80% of customers will never share their bad experience, they just disappear and communicate quickly on social media.  That makes it significantly harder to repair your reputation and to identify the root cause of their dissatisfaction and to rectify the situation   This is why it is even more critical to be using social media listening solutions to see mentions of your company or products so that you can quickly address both the positive and negative feedback you are receiving right in the moment. As you don’t have time not to be present for your customer.