Tips and Tricks · 3 min read

How to find your company's Quiet Critics (and turn them into raving fans)

The Fullstory Team
Posted May 01, 2023
How to find your company's Quiet Critics (and turn them into raving fans)

How to uncover the silent but influential customers who could be costing you revenue

Since 2022, a new workplace trend has emerged: quiet quitting. Employees who are unhappy in their jobs have stopped giving feedback to their employers. They simply do the minimum required to not get fired.

But it’s not just workers who aren’t being open and candid with their feedback. Today’s businesses are faced with the same situation from customers.

Meet the “quiet critic”

Imagine visiting a new clothing store, and the customer service you experience was sub-par: the staff was inattentive and the merchandise was disorganized. On your way out, a clerk asks if you need help, and you politely decline.

As far as that store’s owner is concerned, you’re happy and you’ll come back. In reality, that was the last time you’ll visit. This is the reality that many businesses face today—even online.

In short, this is the quiet critic— an emerging breed of consumer who stay quiet about their experiences, whether good or bad, leaving brands in the dark about their experiences.

For all the investment in customer satisfaction scores, feedback mechanisms and online reviews, Quiet Critics will silently abandon a website or app after one bad experience—and many will never return.

How big of a problem are Quiet Critics for businesses?

According to Fullstory’s latest global study, half of customers have felt frustrated by their online transactions but only 43% of global consumers are likely to leave feedback when they experience an issue with a site or app, which doesn’t help brands address their shortcomings.

This means that businesses are losing vast swaths of customers—often for good—without knowing what triggered their abandonment.

And that’s not to mention the second-hand impact of losing those customers. They’ll tell their friends and family about their experience, too.

How do I prevent Quiet Critics from impacting my business?

So what should you do if customers refuse to vocalize their frustrations? How can any business be expected to learn and improve?

While Quiet Critics won’t give direct feedback, Digital Experience Intelligence (DXI) can be used to identify them and analyze their experiences on your site or app—allowing businesses a chance to understand them through their actions rather than their words.

Quiet Critics can be identified by frenzied “rage clicks,” error clicks, aggressively thrashed cursors, and even mobile pinch-to-zooms. These subtle frustration signals provide a trail of digital footprints, tracking the struggles and experiences of even silent customers. 

In the age of the quiet critic, this level of intelligence is essential. Despite not sharing direct feedback, customers expect brands to provide flawless on-site experiences and earn their loyalty. In fact, 45% of consumers said they don’t care where they buy from “as long as it works.”

So how can your brand track these signals and win over the Quiet Critics for good? Check out the full report here.

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The Fullstory TeamContributor

About the author

Our team of data and user experience experts share tips and best practices.

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