Posts tagged with "Survey"

As customer problems hit a record high, more people seek ‘revenge’

March 13, 2023

Americans are encountering more problems than ever before with the products and services they choose to use—and a higher proportion of consumers are actively seeking “revenge” for their troubles, according to the results of the National Customer Rage Survey released on March 7, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Some 74% of 1,000 consumers surveyed recently said they had experienced a product or service problem in the past year. That is up from 66% in 2020, when the study last was conducted; and from 56% in 2017. Only 32% told researchers they had experienced a problem in 1976, when a similar version of the study was first conducted.

The percentage of consumers who have taken action to settle a score against a company through measures such as pestering or public shaming in person or online, has tripled to 9% from 3% in 2020, according to the study. That reversed a downward trend with regards to revenge-seeking behavior: The average percentage of customers seeking revenge between 2003 and 2017 was 17%.

“It’s the idea of, if you as a company don’t really seem to care, well then I’m going to take to the streets,” said Scott Broetzmann, president and chief executive of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, which conducts the so-called National Customer Rage Survey in partnership with the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.

The research, which builds on a study first conducted by the White House in 1976, albeit under a different name, found that 32% of complainants posted about their most serious problem on social media—more than double the proportion who did so in the 2020 study.

“Most people now are using a computer. They’re using some form of social media at this point; there’s a democratization of complaining,” Broetzmann said.

But the results echo findings from consulting firm Forrester last year suggesting that the quality of customer experience offered by consumer-facing brands and government agencies declined in the year through April 2022. Forrester said its research studies 96,211 U.S. consumers’ perceptions of 221 organizations.

And the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)—which analyzes customer satisfaction with more than 400 companies in 47 industries on a scale of 0 to 100—fell to 73.1 in 2022 from 77 in 2018, the largest decline in the index’s 28-year history.

While customer satisfaction is improving in some industries, including consumer shipping, athletic shoes, soft drinks, hospitals, and online and specialty retailing; it  is declining across fast food, hotels, and gas stations, according to the index’s latest report. Air carriers represent another category that is disappointing its customers.

The rising dissatisfaction is accompanied by more frequent and aggressive complaints, according to the National Customer Rage study. The latest wave of research found 79% of customers complained about their most serious problem to the company at fault—an increase from 72% in 2020. And 43% said they raised their voice to a customer service representative to show displeasure about their most serious problem, up from 35% in 2017, the most recent previous time the question was asked on the survey.

Consumers said some kinds of companies handled complaints better than others, with sectors including food delivery, package delivery, and banking outperforming categories such as pay television, air travel, and automotive.

Customer dissatisfaction hurts companies in more ways than one, Broetzmann said.

It was a turbulent year for carriers in 2022. But Southwest’s holiday meltdown stands out. So how much did the cancellations, lost bags and complaints affect the company’s place in WSJ’s annual airline rankings?

“It’s costing companies a lot of money in future business, but there’s also the cost of servicing really angry customers,” Broetzmann said. “If you think about the average number of contacts that really angry customers are making, each time they contact a business, that costs the business money.”

Some companies have begun offering expedited customer care as a perk for their paid members, biggest spenders, and most loyal fans—borrowing a strategy of airlines and credit card companies.

At the same time, more companies have been turning to automation to cut costs and cover staffing shortages in their standard customer service. Firms push customers towards phone lines and web chats that are handled by artificial intelligence or other technologies that can respond to basic requests, leaving human staff to handle the more complicated service inquiries.

But that strategy is prone to angering customers further, the rage research found. Respondents named their top customer care frustrations as “being forced to listen to long messages before you’re permitted to speak to a representative” and “figuring out how or where to contact the company,” which covers the experience of feeling like a company is hiding its phone number.

At the same time, 25% of respondents said they expected an explanation of why their problem occurred; 24% said they wanted an apology; and 23% said they wanted an assurance that the problem wouldn’t happen again, according to the customer rage research.

They said their complaints infrequently got those results: Companies provided explanations in 9% of surveyed cases, apologized in 18%, and gave assurances in 9%.

Research contact: @WSJ

Survey: 48% of teachers are considering quitting their jobs; 38% are on the verge of changing careers

January 11, 2022

A recent survey showed that nearly half of teachers are considering quitting their jobs—with about one-third of respondents admitting that they might leave the profession entirely, reports Fox Business.

Data from Teachers Pay Teachers, an online forum for curriculum content for teachers, revealed that 48% of 6,000 teachers surveyed in November said they had considered changing jobs in the past month—an increase from 32% in June, K-12 Dive reports.

The outlet noted that 34% of those teachers surveyed said they had considered changing careers in the past month and 11% said they considered taking a leave of absence. 

“Ten years ago, the program enrollment for traditional ed [education] programs started to decrease,” Dr. Heather Sparks, director of Teacher Education at Oklahoma City University, said in an interview that aired on Varney and Co. on Monday, January 10.

“People are just not valuing the profession anymore,” she added. “These are folks who put in four years and then some, continue to get training even after their degree. and yet are paid minimally compared to other professionals who have four-year degrees.”

Schools nationwide say they are dealing with significant teacher shortages, and some principals are saying the start of the school year was the most difficult one yet.

Officals are pointing to an array of factors that have converged to create the vacancies in the wake of COVID-19, and experts warn the problem may not be fixed any time soon.

Administrators are being called into the classroom in some districts dealing with teacher shortages, and several places are calling on retirees to step in and fill the voids.

As teachers continue to flee the profession, studies show fewer college students are pursuing education degrees – a trend researchers had seen long before COVID-19 hit.

Enrollment in education programs at Louisiana colleges has fallen by nearly 8,000 students over the past two decades, according to statewide enrollment data from the Louisiana Board of Regents.

The pandemic is not the sole reason why teachers are leaving the profession, but it has contributed to the burnout that has been common among educators for years.

“Teachers, because of COVID and other reasons, are under a lot of stress,” teacher and President of the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators Julia Reed said at a school board meeting last October 6, according to the Lafayette Daily Advertiser.

Reed noted that, when she speaks with teachers, “their No. 1 issue is not money; it’s workload.”

Research contact: @FoxBusiness

Survey: 1 in 7 people have ended friendships over COVID-19 vaccine stance

September 23, 2021

A survey of 1,000 Americans conducted in September found that 1 out of 7 respondents had ended a friendship over COVID-19 vaccination status. The survey, which was conducted by OnePoll Research, a market research company, looked at the reasons why people have broken up with friends during the pandemic.

When it came to disputes over vaccination, the survey found that 66% of those who lost a friend over the shot had been vaccinated, while 17% do not ever plan to get the shot. Of the vaccinated respondents, 14% said that they had ended a relationship with a friend who did not want to get the shot, reports the Today Show.

Fully 97% of vaccinated people who ended a friendship said that they considered their former friends to be “full-blown anti-vaxxers” who would never understand the importance of the vaccine, which has been proven to be safe and effective.

The survey also asked unvaccinated people why they wouldn’t be vaccinated. “Many” said that it was a personal choice, while others expressed distrust about the vaccine or its potential side effects. The study did not include percentages or other statistics about why people were not getting the vaccine.

Respondents also had other reasons for ending friendships: 16% said that they had lost a friend because of having different political views, while 15% said they ended a relationship because their former friend was dating or sleeping with an ex-partner. Yet another 12% of respondents ended a friendship because the other party was “making up rumors about them,” and 7% broke it off because the other person was a liar.

The phenomenon of ending friendships due to the vaccine took the national spotlight when actor Jennifer Aniston told InStyle that she was distancing herself from friends who wouldn’t be vaccinated.

“There’s still a large group of people who are anti-vaxxers or just don’t listen to the facts. It’s a real shame,” Aniston said. “I’ve just lost a few people in my weekly routine who have refused or did not disclose (whether or not they had been vaccinated), and it was unfortunate.”

Marriage and family therapist Racine Henry told Today in August that it’s not surprising that the pandemic has had an impact on friendships and other important relationships. “People are second-guessing some of their friendships and relationships based on how people behaved during the pandemic,” Henry said. “A lot of questions were called up around what your belief system is, how much of a conspiracy theorist a person might be or how someone can use critical thinking skills.”

However, it’s not all bad news for friendships: Shasta Nelson, friendship expert and author of “Frientimacy,” told TMRW in August that she believed the pandemic had actually changed some relationships for the better.  “Many of us got closer to fewer people, which is interesting because when we’re lonely, it’s not that we need to meet more people, we need to go deeper with a few and feel more seen,” she said.

“… If I had to choose one over the other, I’d choose for people to have fewer closer friends where they feel supported, witnessed, loved and accepted,” Nelson added.

Even if you did lose a friendship during the pandemic, Henry expressed some tentative hope that those bridges can be fixed in some situations. “Some relationships can be worked on. Some can be massaged and reconciled. And there’s a way in which you can respectfully disagree,” Henry said.

“But if your opinion or stance on something threatens me or my physical safety, that can’t be repaired.”

Research contact: @TODAYshow

The ‘eyes’ have it: How to read facial expressions when they are obscured by a mask

November 24, 2020

In a recent study, commissioned by York, England-based Vision Direct, fully 76 % of Brits struggled to read the moods of others who were wearing protective face coverings—with more than half misinterpreting their conversational partner’s expressions and feelings completely.

Indeed, the survey of 2,000 Brits—conducted on behalf of Vision Direct by OnePoll—found that:

  • More than two-thirds of adults struggle to see how someone is feeling when they have a mask on;
  • More than 60% of adults admit to misunderstanding what someone was saying when they had a mask on, with 42% putting this down to not being able to see their lips.
  • About 70% now are consciously trying to look at people’s eyes to guess what expression they are hiding behind the mask.

Now, UK-based body language expert and TV personality Judi James has revealed her top tips—and not surprisingly, it is all in the eyes, SWNS Digital reports.

James says, “The human animal has always depended on facial expression as a way of social and workplace communication and, over the years, the key focus has been the mouth. We have come to depend on this widening of the lips as a rapport-building social shorthand, which is why the wearing of face masks has caused worries in terms of closing down our ability to communicate.

“The good news,” she notes, “is that our eyes are more than capable of taking over the job of transmitting and reading non-verbal signals, in fact one of the reasons we tend to direct attention to our mouths is that our eyes are such strong (and more honest) conveyors of moods and emotions.”

She indicates a genuine-looking eye-smile should involve some wrinkling at the corners and the rounding of the cheeks.

An “eye-flash”—during which the eyes narrow in the eye-smile but the brows pop up and down again in one rapid movement—can signify that someone is flirting and “likes what they see.”

While a rounding of the eyes suggests shared excitement and those who are in love will have dilated pupils—giving true meaning to the ‘look of love’.

But not all eye-signs are indicators of happy: As James points out, there are tell-tale signs of someone feeling disgusted or angry. To recognize disgust on the face of someone wearing a mask, you should look out for a puckered frown, narrowed eye shape, and a wrinkling of the skin at the bridge of the nose.

Similarly, anger is typically displayed with knitted brows that come as low as possible over the eyes, plus a hard eye-stare with the eyes slightly rounded. The head would be tilted slightly forward too.

What’s more, James cautions that reading other’s eye expressions is important but we also need to be aware of our own. “Our ‘resting’ faces can make us look miserable and unapproachable and without all those mouth shrugs or grins in our repertoire we need to make an active effort to use our eyes to transmit friendly smiles and expressions of empathy.”

Following the findings, Vision Direct has created a quiz to test the nation on its ability to recognize key everyday expressions—via the eyes.

To take the quiz visit

Research contact: @SWNS

80% say their perception of time ‘is distorted’ under COVID-19 lockdown

July 13, 2020

A survey conducted by a psychologist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom has found that social and physical distancing measures put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted people’s perceptions of how quickly time passed, compared to their pre-lockdown impressions, Science Daily reports.

Previous research had suggested that our perception of how quickly time passes can vary according to the emotions we are experiencing, the number of daily tasks we must perform, and other factors. However, most of that research has been limited to normal day-to-day life.

Author Ruth Ogden—a senior lecturer in Psychology at the university— prepared an online questionnaire, asking the 604 U.K.-based respondents to rate on a sliding scale how quickly they felt time was passing compared to pre-lockdown, both over the course of a single day and over a full week. The questionnaire also evaluated people’s emotional state, task load, and satisfaction with levels of social interaction..

Ogden found that more than 80% of participants experienced changes to how quickly they perceived time passing during lockdown compared to pre-lockdown. Those who were older or less satisfied with their current levels of social interaction were more likely to experience slower passage of time over the course of a day or week. Slower passage of time over the course of a day was also associated with higher stress and a lower task load.

These findings suggest that significant changes to life’s daily routine distort perception of time. Future research could explore the effects of specific factors, such as whether social satisfaction influences perception of time during normal daily life, or if its significance in this study is due to the unique social impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The survey was conducted between April 7 and April 30. The findings have been posted in the July 6 edition of the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Research contact: @Science Daily 

Sounding off: Most people are annoyed by restaurant music for the same reason

January 29, 2020

Making your voice heard isn’t just hard in politics these days. Try having a quiet conversation at a restaurant.

In fact, based on findings of a recent survey conducted by El Segundo, California-based Cloud Cover Music—a company that offers streaming music to all kinds of businesses, from retailers, to auto dealerships, to pubs, to restaurants—an overwhelming 66.7% of diners cited loud volume as the number-one thing they disliked about restaurant music, Fast Company reports.

And while volume is the top reason for disliking restaurant music, there are plenty of others, the respondents noted—among them:

  • Poor sound quality (21%)
  • Artist they dislike (20.8%)
  • Explicit content (14.8%)
  • Profanity (13.9%)
  • Political content (13.6%)
  • Drug- or alcohol-related content (12.7%)
  • Religious content (12.5%)
  • Outdated (11.8%)
  • Volume too low (10.6%)
  • Evokes sadness (5.2$%)
  • Evokes bad memories (3.5%)

There are a few caveats, along with that data: The survey was conducted online and only included 941 responses, and the responses weren’t weighted. So it can hardly be considered representative. Still, for diners who believe that the loud-music restaurant trend is out of control, the survey results are a satisfying nugget of conformation bias.

You might ask yourself why restaurant owners continue to blast loud music, if everyone hates it so much. One theory, as Vox pointed out in 2018, is that people tend to eat and drink faster in loud environments, which speeds up turnover and therefore boosts business.

Yet another? People with children frequent noisy eateries because they don’t want other patrons to hear their tykes screaming.

Research contact: @FastCompany

Now, imaginary friends are going extinct, too

September 4, 2019

The latest entry on the endangered species list may not be missed by many adults, but children worldwide would be sad to see it vanish: It’s the imaginary friend—a human, animal, or fantasy creature that, traditionally, has been created by about 37%of youngsters at about the age of seven, according to University of Oregon researchers.

Perhaps the most famous invisible friend ever was Harvey, a six-foot rabbit that appeared in the 1950s film of the same name—and was seen only by a middle-aged man named Elwood P. Dowd, played by the actor James Stewart.

However, most adults either don’t have ethereal friends—or don’t admit to them. And today, it turns out that many children are too practical and levelheaded to play with illusory sidekicks.

At least, that’s according to a recent survey conducted by According to a report by the UK newspaper The Telegraph, out of 1,000 nursery workers surveyed, 72% percent said that fewer children have invisible friends than they did five years ago

And fully 66% think they know they reason why: They place the blame on the growing prevalence of screens like iPads and cell phones, which kids can now turn to whenever they don’t know what to do with themselves.

“I think that children are not allowed to be ‘bored’ anymore,” David Wright, the owner of Paint Pots Nursery in England, told the Daily Mail, another British daily newspaper that covered the story.“When children have free time to themselves, they find something creative to do with their mind, such as forming an imaginary friend.”

But the crisis might not be as bad as it sounds. “One or two children in our nursery do have imaginary friends but they mainly come out at home, when children are alone,” Wright told the Daily Mail.

Research contact: @daynurseriesuk

Natalist offers monthly subscription boxes curated to help couples conceive

August 28, 2019

Getting pregnant is life’s lottery: Some couples hit the jackpot the first time they try; others start to feel as if it’s never going to happen. But for most, it’s an emotional journey, with ups and downs, insecurities and hopes.

That’s the thinking behind a new “get pregnant bundle” delivered each month by a startup company called Natalist to the homes of those who are trying to conceive.

After all, says Dr. Nazaneen Homaifar, the chief medical advisor of Natalist—and a Duke Univesity-trained OBGYN—“Trying to get pregnant can be confusing, frustrating, and not as romantic as we imagined it to be. At Natalist, we understand. And we want to help support you through this journey.”

In addition to “Dr. Naz,” the company’s founders include CEO Halle Tecco and Chief Scientific Officer Elizabeth Kane. Together, they have the business and medical knowledge that a couple trying to would appreciate.

“We’re moms, doctors, and scientists building Natlist to give you what you need—from concept to conception,” they say on their new website.

 Starting this week, according to a report by Fast Company, Natalist will discreetly deliver its first boxes (and individually purchased products) to customers’ doors.

As founder and CEO, Halle Tecco envisions arming consumers with everything they need before starting a family, including plenty of TLC. Consider it the self-care of conceiving.

The monthly “Get Pregnant Bundle” subscription box ($90 for a one-time purchase; $81 monthly) changes as one progresses through the fertility journey and continues on until birth. (Customers can cancel at any time.) The first month, for example, includes an illustrated Conception 101 guidebook complete with the basics of human reproduction and practical tips on getting pregnant.

In addition, buyers can expect a range of items ranging from ovulation tests to prenatal vitamins, the majority of which physicians recommend during a preconception visit. The cost is on par with drugstore prices, if not less, Fast Company notes.

In many ways, the business news outlet says, Natalist resembles other startups streamlining transformative stages of a woman’s life: Fridababy sells postpartum recovery products for new moms; Blume is the first cohesive line of self-care products for girls navigating puberty; while Genneve is a complete telehealth and product line for women going through menopause.

While Natalist isn’t bringing new conception products to the market, it did redesign them with a modern feminine look. The pregnancy test is sleek, compact, eco-friendly, and in a warm color palette. Such improvements stem, in part, from a Natalist survey of 1,200 women with planned pregnancies.

“If you look at the pregnancy and ovulation tests that are on the market today, they don’t feel like they belong on your bed stand or in your bathroom next to beauty products,” says Tecco.

The collection features more personal—and less clinical—language along with elegant illustrated instructions. There’s none of the medical jargon typically found on a traditional pregnancy test box.

The website features materials on conception and pregnancy—from both a medical and lifestyle perspective. On-staff doctors quash junk information from actual science-backed studies, with articles ranging from miscarriage grief to debunking sex-position myths. The team also shares their own personal pregnancy journeys on social media and a private Facebook group. The goal is to be approachable while projecting authority.

Over the long-term, Natalist envisions physicians and clinics suggesting its boxes to patients. Currently, the company is in talks with multiple employers interested in subsidizing subscriptions: They’re looking to help their employees get pregnant naturally, thereby bringing down the cost of fertility treatments.

Research contact: @FastCompany

Too close for comfort? Most Americans prefer a ‘buffer zone” from family, in-laws

May 30, 2019

How close are you to your family—not only emotionally, but physically?  A new survey of 2,000 U.S. adults sponsored by Ally Home has found that, while you can’t choose your family, you can choose how nearby you live to them.

Indeed, consumers across all age demographics say keeping some healthy boundaries between where they live and where parents and in-laws are based makes for a happier family relationship.  

According to the survey respondents, a little distance between families goes a long way. More than half (57%) say there should be at least some driving distance between where their parents and/or in-laws live and their own homes. An even greater percentage of Gen Z (63%) and Millennial respondents (62%) believe some distance is healthy. Specifically, most respondents (27%) homed in on between 15 minutes and 45 minutes as the ideal distance range 

Among the other findings of the survey on preferences in family geography and relationships are the following:

  • Call first before popping in! More than one-third of respondents (37%) agree that family should not live close enough to just “pop in” and say hi. An even greater number of Millennials (42%) say they don’t like unannounced drop-ins.
  • Adults need their own space. Almost two-thirds of Americans (64%) say that, while they love their adult children, they don’t want them living with them. Millennials don’t like how things are trending, either. They worry more than any other age group that, at some point, they will have their adult children, and their parents or in-laws living with them (33% vs. 21% of the general population).
  • My family’s okay, but yours can keep their distance. When asked about their preferences for which family members could live nearby, respondents said my siblings (30%), my adult children (30%), my parents (29%), my in-law parents (25%), or my in-law siblings (24%).

The survey also presented respondents with a number of stress points and asked which ones ranked top when dealing with family. The top five responses included:

  1. Road trip with parents or in-laws, but no radio (52%),
  2. Dealing with a father or father-in-law whose political views oppose your own (40%),
  3. Living within five minutes of parents or in-laws (38%),
  4. Cooking a complicated meal for a mother or mother-in-law (31%), or
  5. Hosting family for the holidays (27%).

The online survey was conducted by Regina Corso Consulting on behalf of Ally Financial between April 17 and April 22.

Research contact:

OM can lead to OMG: Meditation is not for everyone

May 15, 2019

Meditation has been touted by millions worldwide for its ability to lower stress, zap anxiety, and increase focus, among other mental health benefits. But a study conducted at the University College of London has found that fully 25% of those who have tried it say that they don’t feel tranquil or serene; rather, they experience fear and distorted emotions, Study Finds reports.

Of 1,232 frequent meditation practitioners (people who have meditated regularly for at least two months) surveyed by researchers at the college, more than one-quarter admit they have had at least one “unpleasant experience” while meditating.

Researchers say suffering from an unpleasant meditative experience seems to be more prevalent among specific groups—among them, those who:

  • Attend a meditation retreat,
  • Only practice “deconstructive types” of meditation such as Vipassana (insight) and Koan practice used in Zen Buddhism, and
  • Experience higher levels of repetitive negative thinking.

Conversely, women and participants with religious beliefs were less likely to have a negative experience.

“These findings point to the importance of widening the public and scientific understanding of meditation beyond that of a health-promoting technique,” says lead author Marco Schlosser, a professor in UCL’s Division of Psychiatry. “Very little is known about why, when, and how such meditation-related difficulties can occur: More research is now needed to understand the nature of these experiences. When are unpleasant experiences important elements of meditative development, and when are they merely negative effects to be avoided?”

For the study, participants were surveyed online about their meditation history, and completed assessments that measure repetitive negative thinking and self-compassion. They were also asked, “Have you ever had any particularly unpleasant experiences (e.g. anxiety, fear, distorted emotions or thoughts, altered sense of self or the world), which you think may have been caused by your meditation practice?”

In all, 25.6% said they’ve had an unpleasant experience (28.5% of men, 23% of women). This was especially true for those who did not have a religious affiliation (30.6%), versus 22% who did hold religious beliefs. About 29% of people who had attended a meditation retreat reported negative experiences, compared to only 19.6% of those who had never attended one.

Researchers say the results show there needs to be a greater focus on the downside to meditating, as studies are typically centered around all the good the practice offers.

“Most research on meditation has focused on its benefits, however, the range of meditative experiences studied by scientists needs to be expanded,” says Schlosser. “It is important at this point not to draw premature conclusions about the potential negative effects of meditation.”

The study findings are published in the May 9 edition of the journal, PLOS One.

Research contact: @ucl