The American Customer Satisfaction Index, based on interviews with 70,000 consumers about their satisfaction with foreign and domestic products, fell again in the fourth quarter of 2015, the eighth decline in a row. The index stands at 73.4 out of a possible 100, the lowest score in a decade.

Why are Americans in such a snit over products? Is retail therapy truly over?

The ACSI folks blame jobs, as in too many people having them.

“When unemployment is high,” says their report, “the job market is more competitive and employees in the service sector often make an extra effort to ensure that customers are satisfied. As job security has strengthened over the past two years, perhaps that extra effort is no longer there and shoppers are taking notice.”

Also, says the Index staff, price hikes on products though small, still ran faster than wage hikes, cutting shoppers’ buying power.

Well, if those stats got you thinking, then geek out to dozens of data points on customer loyalty, compiled by Access, a vendor of discount programs to business, for “Customer Loyalty Statistics: 2016 Edition”. Did you know that 47% of customers would take their business to a competitor within a day of experiencing poor customer service? And that number rises to 79% within a week. Yet 80% of switchers feel the company could have done something to retain them.

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