Britain remains a nation of complainers, new research has found, but UK shoppers prefer to do so online, with in-person whining proving as difficult as ever to the confrontation-shy Briton. And mobile is making it easier than ever to be bol-shy.
Two thirds of people in the UK will avoid confrontation wherever possible, and 16% are so shy that they say they will never complain in person. However, the study, from global online review platform Trustpilot, found that half of Brits feel they can express themselves better online than they can in person. And with their mobile phone ever present, they are increasingly turning to the online moan by phone.
James Westlake, VP UK Trustpilot, said: “It’s clear that while we’re in public, the typical British attribute of the stiff upper lip makes us put up with more than we let on. However, once we’re back at home behind the safety of the computer screen we feel able to unleash our real feelings. The relative anonymity of complaining via email, through social media or by leaving an online review enables us to be bolder and more honest about our experiences than we would otherwise be. It also gives us the time and space to express ourselves properly. We’ve all experienced the sensation of thinking of the perfect comeback once an argument is finished, but sharing our frustrations online enables us to get the words exactly how we want them.”
Westlake adds: “Of course, our online complaining may be due in part, perhaps, to the fact that we’re all constantly connected to the internet via our smartphones. We’re becoming a mobile-first society, particularly when we’re shopping, so it’s understandable that people would reach for their phones when they want to make a complaint online.”
If they have a bad experience with a company, more than a third will simply stop using a service, rather than trying to resolve the issue in some way, suggesting that brands need more than ever to listen to the feedback they do receive which calls for better service or products. Indeed, two thirds of those surveyed said they complain because they want the company to learn from the feedback and improve.
The research also revealed that the top reason Brits will complain is because they want an apology (76%), closely followed by a refund (75%) and wanting to warn other customers (73%).