Gripes tend to get embellished when they are told to friends, family and work colleagues, making the effect even worse. Nearly half of 1,200 US shoppers surveyed said they avoided a store because of someone else's negative report.
Overall, for every 100 shoppers who have a bad experience, a retailer stands to lose up to 36 current or potential customers, according to the study. Only 6% of surveyed shoppers bothered to complain to the company, but nearly a third shared their complaint with others. Making it easier to complain in-store may defuse the network effect.
Source: Beware of dissatisfied customers: they like to blab
Knowledge@Wharton, March 8-21
Review by Steve Lodge