It’s all too easy to think of bad customer service as a series of isolated incidents. Sure, things can get a bit unpleasant when disgruntled customers threaten to take their business elsewhere, or when they decide to share their negative experience with their friends and family. But eventually, it all blows over and things return to normal, right?

Well, that may have once been the case, but things have changed considerably over the past decade. The internet (and social media in particular) have given angry consumers a voice, and these “isolated incidents” may now end up hurting your reputation and driving your customers away to the competition.

The good folks at ClickSoftware have put together this infographic that illustrates just how much poor customer service can impact your bottom line. Some key takeaways:

  • Poor customer experiences result in an estimated $83 billion loss to businesses in the U.S. Ouch!
  • Even though the Social Media industry has a reputation for treating its customers badly, social media itself has totally revolutionized the way customer service works.
  • Nearly 64 percent of consumers think customer service is more important than price when choosing a business.
  • Nearly 43 percent of consumers feel that business websites provide the best level of customer service. Conversely, less than 6 percent think that online chat is a viable channel for support.