When consumers experience a product failure, they use search engines to find places to register their complaints. This leaves data trails which can be used to anticipate and react to their needs.
Using over 100 brands featured in recent "Best Global Brands" reports form Interbrand, we extracted Google data on almost 1.2 million search queries related to customer complaints, to extract meaningful insights around the very fundamental consumer need to make their opinions heard.
According to a new study from the marketing agency Web Liquid Group, "When it comes to raw complaint searches, no one beats the auto industry. Toyota received the highest amount of complaint-related searches in 2010, and four of the top seven brands are car manufacturers. Beyond the top 10, Web Liquid says four others -- Hyundai, BMW, Volkswagen and Lexus -- were all in the top 30."
The 2011 Customer Complaint Index measures search activity in the Google Keyword Research Tool involving complaints (i.e., broad match results for "(brand name) complaints") and applies the data to Interbrand's Best Global Brands report. Web Liquid recognizes some of the limitations in this approach: the study doesn't reflect non-Google searches and the Keyword Tool also has some drawbacks. But the data is interesting nonetheless.
Three of the top 10 as shown in the chart are restaurants: McDonald's, Pizza Hut and Burger King:
Here's the full study:
Download: 2011 Customer Complaint Index