The Customer Service Survey

Free Market Research

by Peter Leppik on Tue, 2006-03-28 01:00

With the Internet, many people have observed that customers no longer complain to just a few friends when they get bad customer service. Instead they write about it in blogs, e-mail everyone they know, and post missives in online forums.

This means that bad experiences make the rounds faster and stick around longer than ever before.

But it also gives companies free market research: want to know what customers don't like about you? Just type "(your company or product name) sucks" into Google and see what pops up. Or "I hate (your company or product name)".

The result will be raw, unfiltered, and potentially really interesting.

As an experiment, I typed "Customer service sucks" into Google to see which companies would pop up. This has about the same scientific validity as the horoscope column in the newspaper, but the results are sort of interesting. In the order companies appeared in the Google search, here is:

The Top Ten Customer Service Sucks List (3/28/06):

  1. MCI
  2. PayPal
  3. Best Buy
  4. Sony
  5. Watford Electronics
  6. IBM
  7. Shinza
  8. Tracfone
  9. Samsung
  10. eBay

So what does this list mean? Not much really. Most of these companies are big global brands, and so would be expected to have lots of online comments (pro and con). Google's rank is driven by the number of people who link to a given web page, so the particular rants in the top ten are probably just the best stories.

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