Arizona Horizon Banner

November 27, 2013

Host: Ted Simons

Customer Rage Study

  |   Video
  • The holiday shopping season has been pushed back even earlier than ever before. With that season upon us, a new study on “customer rage,” designed in part by Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, shows more of us are unhappy with our shopping experience. Professor Mary Jo Bitner, executive director of the Center for Services Leadership at ASU, will discuss the study.
  • Mary Jo Bitner - Executive Director, Center for Services Leadership at ASU
Category: Business/Economy   |   Keywords: shopping, customer rage, ASU, study, holiday,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to "Arizona Horizon." I'm Ted Simons. With the holiday shopping season now upon us, we thought we'd look at a new study on customer rage. The research was designed in part by ASU's W.P. Carey School of Business, and it shows increasing displeasure with the entire shopping experience. Here to talk about the study is Professor Mary Jo Bitner, executive director of ASU's center for services leadership. Good to have you here and thank you very much.

Mary Jo Bitner: Great to be here.

Ted Simons: I find this stuff fascinating. Especially in this time of year, when you go out there among the masses and you see stuff and you are trying to figure it out. A survey on customer rage. Why?

Mary Jo Bitner: Well, we've been doing this now for -- this is the sixth wave of this study, it started back in 1976, the first study was done, and we have done the last five waves since 2003. Really, to track and see why and how customers respond to the failure of products and services, whether they are more satisfied, less satisfied over the years, and just how they react.

Ted Simons: Define customer rage.

Mary Jo Bitner: Well, the way we define it, technically, is those customers who have a problem with the products and service, and when they complain, they are very upset or extremely upset about how those problems are handled. Those are people with customer rage.

Ted Simons: So it's more than -- I'm not happy with the service or the product, it goes beyond that.

Mary Jo Bitner: It goes way beyond that, that I'm really very upset or I'm extremely upset with the way this has been handled, and I'm experiencing some sense of, of anger, and we call it rage.

Ted Simons: Ok. And so, what are customers most peeved about?

Mary Jo Bitner: In terms of the types of products they are most peeved about, it would be really the satellite TV, internet, cell phones. Anything really communication-related, or electronics, all the things that are really, really important to us, and when those things are not working right, people get on the phone, and they complain to the providers, and what they are upset about is that oftentimes it takes them a lot of time. They waste a lot of time getting those problems solved. Getting even an answer to their question, and they might have to talk -- the average is four people, they have to call four times to get a problem solved. And so, just wasting their time, feeling it's not worthwhile, dealing with automated phone lines. Those are the things that get people upset.

Ted Simons: And at the wasting time thing is just -- it gives me almost shivers to think about having to make certain calls because I figure the next two hours of my life are gone. You just sit there and watch the clock.

Mary Jo Bitner: Exactly, exactly. And being passed around from one person to another, and having to repeat your story. And then, maybe not getting satisfied in the end, and that's the whole point, I think, when we look at how many people are satisfied with how their complaints are handled, there is only 20% of the people who complain about a problem, are completely satisfied with how that was handled.

Ted Simons: Is that a reflection of the customer? The people? Or are companies, actually, trying to do the best that they can with this kind of response?

Mary Jo Bitner: Well, you know, companies are trying. It's common knowledge, among business people, and companies, that if you satisfy a customer, that's had a problem with you, and you do a good job of it, they are going to be more loyal. So all companies want loyal customers, and they are, they want to try to solve the problems. What's happening is they have got a lot of good ideas about it, but it's not being implemented well, and customers perceive, in fact, many customers perceive that they get nothing when they complain. They think nothing has been done for them. And they -- what they really want, and it's some really simple things, they would like an apology. They would like somebody to explain, you know, what's gone wrong. They would like the company to say, you know, we won't do this again. We understand. Let us see what we can do, and a lot of those things, customers perceive that they don't get that.

Ted Simons: And I found that fascinating, something as simple as an apology, that really does help.

Mary Jo Bitner: It does. It does. In fact, it can only, it can almost double the level of satisfaction, if you just apologize, or you give an explanation or do something that does not cost any money.

Ted Simons: So, and you mentioned loyalty for a second there, the loyalty does hang in there when at least you get an apology or an explanation. If you are not satisfied, and you were a loyal customer, are you out the door?

Mary Jo Bitner: You very well may be. And you are much more likely to be out the door if your complaint was not satisfied at all, or even if it was, sort of. You are more likely to leave and never come back than if you were satisfied, obviously. But even, you are more likely to leave than if you never complained at all.

Ted Simons: Interesting.

Mary Jo Bitner: So that's kind of the new finding this time in this particular wave of the study. We did not find this in the past, and in fact, back in 1976, what they found was that if you just opened the door and let somebody complain, they would be more likely to come back, whether or not you did anything about it. That's not true anymore. These days, if you let people complain, and you handle it poorly, and they are dissatisfied with how you handled it, they are much more likely to leave than someone who never complained at all.

Ted Simons: Are people today much more likely to complain than they have been in the past?

Mary Jo Bitner: They are more likely to complain. They are more likely to, but there is still a lot of people that just don't bother. Because they figure, I will waste two hours, I might not get anything anyway, so why don't I forget it. It's not that important.

Ted Simons: Judging from some of the numbers, 32% reported problems in this area in the 1976. 45% in 2011, and 50% now. It's not getting better.

Mary Jo Bitner: No.

Ted Simons: Is it, is it not getting better? Or are we perceiving that, that we're just not getting better service?

Mary Jo Bitner: I think what's happening is a couple things. The products and services that we have today compared to 1976 ones are much more complex. They are technical. They require integration of various products and services to work right. They are technical, and they are very much more complicated than what we, than what we had in 1976, and they keep getting more so. And then, I think also, people's expectations are rising, you know, we can, we tend to be more demanding, I think, just in general. So, the combination of those two things, I believe, results in a, you know, having more problems today than we did even ten years ago.

Ted Simons: The technology, I think, is interesting because in a lot of those cases, you know, if your car is not working or something, you have an idea of why or you think, maybe there is a guy down the street, a shade tree mechanic. But for so many of these devices and things this, we're powerless. There’s nothing we can do right now.

Mary Jo Bitner: We don’t understand them, and sometimes, we feel like when we call in, that the provider doesn't understand them, either, or sometimes they don't. Sometimes the problem is very complex, and they are not sure where the actual issue is, either, so the complexity is, I think, has created a lot of these issues.

Ted Simons: And yelling is up 11%?

Mary Jo Bitner: Yes.

Ted Simons: Cussing is up 6%. Again, is that a reflection more on society? Or on the fact that we're not getting good service?

Mary Jo Bitner: I think that, that it's interesting to see that, that number has gone up so much in the last couple of years. So, I think part of that may be the general environment, that we're in right now, people are frustrated by a lot of things. They are kind of emotional. And maybe that's reflected in some of that increase. You know, we hear that that's more prevalent in society in general. People swearing and yelling at each other, so it may be a reflection of that.

Ted Simons: So business looks at this study and they want to do right.

Mary Jo Bitner: Right.

Ted Simons: They want to get it right and they want their customers to be happy, and they are willing to go the extra mile. What do they take from this study?

Mary Jo Bitner: I think that first of all, I want to say that there are a lot of companies that do this right. And so, we're talking about the average across the board, you know, kind of what we see on average. And there are many companies that really do get it right. What they need to do, and what they can learn from a study like this is to try to handle the problem on the first try, and they need to invest in the training of those employees, give them the power to do that and try to not keep customers waiting. And try to just get things done quickly, and it does take an investment, though. And, and I think that, that companies can get it right.

Ted Simons: Do you find that companies, when they get this kind of an information, for the most part, they do take it seriously? Or is this kind of thing sloughed off?

Ted Simons: It varies. Some companies take it very seriously and have invested a lot in trying to improve customer service are very successful, and it pays off for them. They keep their customers they build their business, they have a lot of loyal customers, they get great word of mouth. We tell people when we have great service, right?

Ted Simons: Yeah.

Mary Jo Bitner: So it pays off. But there are companies that don't think -- still think of it as a cost and something that they shouldn’t really invest in.

Ted Simons: Last question, what shall we, as consumers, take from this kind of information?

Mary Jo Bitner: Well, I think that one thing that I would say is that we, as customers, probably need to have a little more patience for these service providers that we go to because the front line folks don't typically -- you cannot really blame them for the problems. But, I think that we need to, to have some patience. Realize that we have very complex services that, that are difficult to make work right.

Ted Simons: It's very interesting information, and especially as we all wade out into the deeper waters coming up this weekend. It's good to have you here and thanks for joining us.

Mary Jo Bitner: Thank you very much.

ASU Indian Legal Program

  |   Video
  • Arizona State University’s Indian Legal Program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The program was established in 1988 to provide legal education, scholarship in the area of Indian law and public service to tribal governments. Regents' Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Indian Legal Program Rebecca Tsosie, and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community President Diane Enos, an Indian Legal Program alumna, will talk about the program and its impact on both tribes in Arizona and the state as a whole.
  • Rebecca Tsosie - Professor of Law, Indian Legal Program
  • Diane Enos - President, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community
Category: Education   |   Keywords: education, Indian Legal Program, ASU,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: Arizona State University's Indian Legal Program is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The program was established to provide legal education in scholarship in the area of Indian law, along with public service to tribal governments. Joining us tonight is Rebecca Tsosie, Regents' Professor of law and executive director of the Indian Legal Program, and Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community President Diane Enos, a graduate of the Indian Legal Program. Good to have you both here and thank you very much for joining us.

Ted Simons: 25 years now, let's talk about right now, the Indian Legal Program. What is the focus of the program?

Rebecca Tsosie: The focus of our program is on educating all the students at Arizona State University, and all of the students throughout the nation, really, on the importance of Indian law as a subject to study in law school. It’s vitally important in Arizona because, obviously, we have many tribal nations here in the state and over a quarter of the land, I believe, within the boundaries of Arizona is tribal land. I am so honored that President Enos could join us tonight.

Ted Simons: Indeed. And as far as what the program trains students to do, is it a variety of things? Is it focused on legal issues? What, what happens here?

Rebecca Tsosie: Well, Federal Indian law is a very specialized subject because we deal with sovereign nations that also have their own tribal law system, so we teach the Federal law that governs the relationship, as well as the tribal law systems that are represented in Arizona tribal courts. And we also talk about the legislation that affects the government to government relationship, and we have a clinic that trains students to represent tribal clients, both in tribal courts and also administrative and Federal processes.

Ted Simons: And the difference between the legal systems, that's a biggy, isn't it?

Diane Enos: It certainly is, but I wanted to add also to what the professor said, if you are a student at the Arizona State University college of law, and you are going to be an attorney, you learn everything that everybody else does. There is not a segregated curriculum per se. So, when I went there, I had the option to take Indian law courses, and I took some other courses that, specifically, relate to Indian law, but we go through the same thing, as everybody else. And we have to take the same law school exams, we have to take the same basic courses, contracts, constitutional law, and those things. So we're not exempt from anything.

Ted Simons: Oh, no. And I don't think that anyone would think that you would be, and I would think that they would say you have got some other issues here, as well, that you really need to be on top of.

Diane Enos: Absolutely. That's true.

Ted Simons: And what are some of those issues?

Diane Enos: Well, for tribal Government, you have courts, tribal courts, the professor referred to that because we have our own legal systems. We are sovereigns. Of course, the Supreme Court says that we're dependent, domestic nations so we have differences of opinion there. But with the sovereignty that we have, we have to protect it. And everything that we do as tribes is geared towards being aware of what those threats to our sovereignty are. And in setting up our court system and setting up all the programs, and protecting our territories, that's something that we have to keep in mind constantly.

Ted Simons: Is that an ever changing kind of a situation? Or are some of these issues pretty strong year after year?

Rebecca Tsosie: In Arizona, because of the nature of tribal land bases here, the Arizona issues are ongoing. And the economic development on the reservations, of course, right now, is at its height. So, the issues about how you do business on the reservation, about sovereign immunity, about resources and the use of resources, zoning that might apply on the reservation is very different than off the reservation. And so, there are a number of inter-jurisdictional issues that we work with in this state.

Ted Simons: As far as the students. Describe the students. Where they come from and what they are looking to do and what they are looking to be.

Rebecca Tsosie: I love our students. We just celebrated our 25th anniversary, and the room was filled with our alums. We have over 250 alums in the Indian Legal Program. Most are native. We are open in terms of the offerings, our class offerings to native and non-native students, but, they are from Indian nations all over the country, and even all over the world, really. We have had students come to us from Canada and from New Zealand, from other areas, and they bring a wonderful, cultural mix of views about indigenous identity and rights. I love working with them, and they are spectacular students.

Ted Simons: It certainly sounds like it. We have a former student right here, and I want to ask you, when you went into the program, what were you looking for? When you graduated from the program, did you find what you were looking for?

Diane Enos: When I went through the program, I didn't know what was coming. I didn't know what to expect. And I really just wanted to be a lawyer. But, I also knew that whatever I did, I was going to work with my community, and serve my community, which is Salt River, so I went into law school, totally unprepared for the shock of it. Your books are that thick. I walked home after class, and carrying all these heavy textbooks, really, and it consumes you. Your life is consumed for three years, totally. And then after that, there is the bar exam. Your life is consumed for months. You do nothing but study at home and study at the library and live in a cocoon so you can pass the bar.

Ted Simons: But once you pass the bar, you have the degree and the ability to practice here. Because of the Indian Legal Program, did you see opportunity where there may not have been opportunity before?

Diane Enos: I was an elected official of my community, so I couldn't work for my community. But, being an elected official, I was able to understand some of the issues that came our way in the legal realm. I worked for the county for several years after I left a small boutique law firm. And did some immigration law first. Did some contracts, some basic criminal law. And then I went to the public defender's office where I was there for about more than 11 years and got a lot of tremendous practice. All the while being an elected official, and the more information, the more practice you get in the field of law, the more you understand. Someone said, I think it was Justice Frankfurter, the law is a seamless web. Professor Bender said that to me the first week that I was in law school, and I always remembered it. The law touches everything.

Ted Simons: Yes. So students, we talked about the students before, and how -- they are from all over and they come in with so many ideas. When they leave, what do you find that they want to do most?

Rebecca Tsosie: Most of our students want to practice in some area that relates to Federal law and policy or tribal law. So the majority of our students will go to work either for the tribal governments, for the Federal government, or even the state governments working in law and policy positions where they can, they can undertake advocacy on important Federal Indian law and policy and tribal law issues.

Ted Simons: With that in mind, what kind of partnerships are you seeing now with, with the native governments and native organizations?

Rebecca Tsosie: The Indian Legal Program had a three-part mission when it was established, so in addition to educating students, outreach to tribal communities was a very important part of the mission. And we have been really fortunate in this state to have the support, for example, of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian community, of Gila river, Fort McDowell, Ak-Chin, the Navajo Nation, we have partnerships with all of them that support our students, and also, the development of the infrastructure through conferences, and externship placements for the students, and a variety of activities, so we work very closely with the tribal nations here.

Ted Simons: Specifically your nation, what relationship do you have, and do you watch the kids come out?

Diane Enos: We have internships, we work with the law school clinic and do some practice in tribal courts, and I think right now, we have got probably over 19 alumni working for my community in lots of areas. Prosecutors. Defense, Oh, gosh, court solicitor, the family advocacy center. And the general counsel’s office, just, just a whole lot of expertise coming out of the Indian Legal Program.

Ted Simons: Quickly, before we go, where does the Indian Legal Program go from here?

Rebecca Tsosie: I think the future is wide open. There are always issues about jurisdiction in the courts. But to me, the real importance is the sovereignty of the Indian nations, both as a political matter and as a cultural matter, and you see that synergy worldwide around indigenous rights.

Diane Enos: The threats continue, and they are going to get worse.

Ted Simons: Well, it's good to have you both here. And the success of the Indian Legal Program, congratulations on that and, and thank you very much for joining us. We appreciate it.

Diane Enos: Thank you.

Mapping Art Exhibit

  |   Video
  • A new exhibit in Phoenix showcases more than 50 pieces of community artwork. Professional artists, novices, and even kindergarten students submitted pieces for the “Mapping: Movement and Memory” exhibit in the University Center on Arizona State University’s Downtown Phoenix campus. We’ll show you how a variety of community members incorporated motherhood, immigration, dance and architecture into the free exhibit which runs through December 6.
Category: The Arts   |   Keywords: exhibit, phoenix, motherhood, immigration, dance, architecture,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: A new art exhibit in downtown Phoenix features over 50 pieces from established artists to a five-year-old. Producer Christina Estes and photographer Juan Magana take us inside the University Center at ASU's College of Public Programs.

Christina Estes: It's easy to rush through the lobbies and down the halls without noticing what's covering the walls, but then you’d miss this.

Carrie Tovar: This exhibit is called Mapping, Movement and Memory.

Christina Estes: Three floors of artwork, celebrating the meaning and purpose of maps.

Carrie Tovar: When you send out the call to artists, you don't know what you are going to receive, and that is part of the excitement in being involved in the community.

Christina Estes: Curator of art, Carrie Tovar, put out the call and received more than 50 pieces, including two featuring motherhood.

Carrie Tovar: And she did present motherhood with a mother and child superimposed on a map, a present day map, and she also did a wonderful collage of an old world style painting of mother and child, superimposed on an old map that comes from the 1400s.

Christina Estes: Another professional artist used the movement Carrie Tovar: theme to highlight immigration.

Carrie Tovar: The figures that you see kind of floating up, are floating up from Mexico to the United States. He has entitled it “Soaring Dreamers.”

Christina Estes: Carrie combined her love of maps and butterflies to create this piece.

Carrie Tovar: It was really a fun and cathartic experience for me because I got to look up the maps and relive all of my travels, just by looking at them, and remembers the places that I was able to visit and landmarks, and so it was really a nice experience to be able to participate myself.

Christina Estes: The youngest artist, just five years old, maps movement another way.

Carrie Tovar: She is an avid performer. She likes to dance and she loves music and she has parents who are very musical and artistic. And so, she mapped out with little stick figures, dance moves with little arrows showing how you are supposed to move, and underneath it, she drew musical notes to accompany the movements.

Christina Estes: If you are looking for the best Crème Brulée in Paris, hop on the metro line and follow this hand drawn map to get to St. Paul. That's where you will look for the green awning.

Carrie Tovar: This is one of the submissions to the exhibit. It is a map of Phoenix, and she has outlined Phoenix with all the individual areas and neighborhoods.

Christina Estes: This artist used needlepoint to plot out the places where she has cried.

Carrie Tovar: There is one up here. I always wonder about that little floating cry up here at the top. But most of them are, are right around here which seem to be central Phoenix.

Christina Estes: Building a replica of downtown phoenix helps students at Phoenix Day School learn about architectural designs, and create their own. Straws, glitter, and silver paint, make up the crown on top of city hall.

Carrie Tovar: Art is a wonderful thing to share.

Christina Estes: While many artists focus on specific cities, states, or countries, the fourth graders behind this one take us to the ice cream cone-shaped Rainbow Island, home to Candyland, Root Beer River, and the Talking Animal Farm.

Passerby: I will let you know last week.

Carrie Tovar: We're hoping that people notice it. It's here, and for them. And even if they are waiting for class or waiting for something else, maybe just to take a look down the hall. And what I hope for each exhibit is that they wonder what it's about. And then maybe, in my perfect world, I would love for them to think of what they, themselves, would contribute.

Ted Simons: The exhibit is free and open during regular business hours through December 3rd. The next exhibit is scheduled for January with a focus on community portraits. Thursday on "Arizona Horizon," an ArtBeat special, we'll look at the metal artwork of Kevin Caron and see how Laura Spaulding takes everyday urban street scenes and turns them into art on the next "Arizona Horizon." That's it for now, I'm Ted Simons, thank you very much for joining us. You have a great evening and a great Thanksgiving.