Consumers in the US are now twice as likely to share the details of a bad customer service experience with their friends and family than are their UK counterparts, according to research from cloud contact centre solutions provider NewVoiceMedia, which also found that British consumers are more likely than Americans to recommend a company following a positive interaction. This article is copyright 2014 The Best Customer Guide.

The study concluded that, broadly speaking, customers are looking for even more personalised and engaging experiences every time and through every channel. Following an inadequate experience, half (49%) of US consumers will tell friends and colleagues not to use the business (27% UK), and thanks to social media, forums and review channels, the modern consumer has a convenient public platform at their fingertips to spread negative sentiment about a business online.

Interestingly, nearly six out of ten (59.3%) American 25-34 year-olds seek revenge online, compared to only 39% of their UK counterparts.

Americans are also twice as likely to choose social media as the most effective way of resolving a problem (14% vs 7% UK). For Gen Y and Millennials (those aged 16 to 34), this figure soared to 28%, with Facebook proving to be the favoured social network for interacting with businesses. One respondent explained, "The risk of getting other people's attention will cause the service providers to act quickly."

In both regions, women are more patient than men when it comes to bad interactions, yet much more likely to head online to complain about a company (36% US & 19% UK).

However, the significance consumers place on excellent service presents opportunities as well as threats, as organisations can boost their business by getting it right. Some 71% of UK consumers will recommend a company following a positive experience (69% in the US) and 72% of overall respondents said that good service had a considerable influence on their loyalty. US customers are more likely to spend more money with the business as a result (42% vs 34% UK).

"While it is damaging to a brand when customers tell friends and family if they are dissatisfied with service they've received, it's not nearly as powerful and immediate as those who take their complaints online; particularly as consumers are increasingly turning online to read about others' experiences before choosing a product or supplier. Over the next few years we expect to see these statistics soar as the younger generation matures," concluded Jonathan Gale, CEO for NewVoiceMedia. "Customers want personalised and engaging experiences every time, through every channel. Great customer experience is the critical differentiator and by doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful."