British Businesses Lose £2.5 Billion Due to Bad Customer Service

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UK businesses are set to lose more than £2.5 billion as a result of providing bad lockdown customer service, according to new research from Infobip.

The study from the global cloud communications platform polled 2,000 British consumers to see how businesses had managed to serve customers over lockdown.

With over a third (33%) of Brits saying they have higher expectations for customer service post-COVID-19, it is imperative that businesses prioritize digital transformation as they respond to the “new normal”.

During lockdown the vast majority of UK consumers (79%) reported experiencing bad customer service, with the biggest frustrations including waiting to speak with an organization’s customer service team (35%), limited ways and times to contact a company (31%) and repeating details to a customer service agent (20%).

What’s more, almost a third (32%) of consumers said that they will not but again from the business that provided a poor service during lockdown.

Given each consumer would have previously spent an average of £341 per year with said businesses, they could be set to lose a total of £2.5bn per year in future sales.

Those businesses that get customer service right will reap the rewards – especially when more than half (54%) of UK consumers said they will purchase again from businesses if the service was positive.

Many (23%) now expect a similar level of service from other brands in today’s post-pandemic climate.

Supermarkets Get It Right

UK supermarkets succeeded in keeping the nation happy during the hardest of times, with nearly two-thirds (63%) of shoppers satisfied with their lockdown supermarket experience.

Tesco, Asda and M&S all make the top five brands identified by customers as delivering positive experiences during lockdown. This sector quickly adapted to the changing needs of the customer, with many rolling out online services and offering additional support through mobile apps.

They didn’t disappoint with their digital offering either – half of British shoppers were happy with the online alternative to in-store provided by supermarkets.

Banks and financial services also fared well, keeping more than half (55%) of their customers happy.

Banking customers were particularly impressed by agents’ efficiency and customer journey tracking which allowed them to quickly identify and resolve issues.

Customer feedback

“Being put on the vulnerable list for my grocery shopping delivery gave me peace of mind that my food would be delivered in a time when I was unable to shop for myself.” (Tesco customer)

“I had issues with the mobile app and the customer service agent was able to provide helpful support over the phone.” (HSBC customer)

“I made errors paying a credit card and the customer service agent was able to correct the error. The agent went above and beyond, explaining the process, resolving the issue and made me feel like a valued customer.” (Halifax customer)

Nikhil Shoorji, Managing Director Europe at Infobip, said: “Good customer service cannot be overrated. Especially as the restrictions posed by lockdown meant consumers relied on their phone or computer to stay connected and access the services they needed.”

“We know that if a business doesn’t get it right, customers will not shy away from dropping that brand in search of one that does.”

“What is clear is that knowing your customer and prioritizing their needs is essential to business survival and future success.”

“As we adapt to a “new normal”, UK businesses must invest time and resources into understanding and anticipating their customers’ needs – whether these are online or in real life.”

Ultimately, they need to make sure that their customers can contact them how they want, when they want – whether that be on the phone, via an app, a chatbot or even through WhatsApp. Only then will they be able to ensure their customers remain loyal.”

For more insights from Infobip, visit:

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 18th Mar 2021 - Last modified: 25th Apr 2024
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