If 10 users complain about something, is there some approximation of how many more users are also irritated by it but can't be bothered to complain? I feel like I've seen a guesstimate somewhere but can't find it.

E.g. for every user who complains, ten more are also irritated by it but don't say anything.

2 Answers 2


The statistic I keep seeing is that for every 1 customer that complains, there are 26 that remain silent. This is sometimes rephrased as "96% of unhappy customers don't complain". I can't find a specific study to point to as the origin of this claim, however I found many sources citing it:

  1. SuperOffice
  2. Mindful
  3. Andy Beal
  4. Market Connections
  5. "CX for Executives" (slide 8)

I'd be cautious of sweeping generalizations - if your main avenue of contact you have with your users is something rather technical (think bugzilla, github, IRC), you'll be getting very different amounts of feedback from your users depending on whether you have a C++ library or something more casual like MS Paint.

Similarly, the sources Chloe linked also mention something like "13% of people tell 15-20 people that your service sucks" - well, where do they do that? If it's on social media, you have a decent chance that you'll be able to find it with relevant social media monitoring tools. In case of a help forum, subreddit or a discord, you may even run the place where they complain about you to other people.

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