Businesses lose money through poor customer experience


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New research from NewVoiceMedia reveals that UK companies deemed to have poor customer service are losing approximately £12 billion a year.

According to the survey, half of UK consumers are taking their business elsewhere as a result of inadequate service – and of those, 92% have switched at least once or twice in the last year. 49% are put off from calling a business at all, for fear of being kept on hold or in a queue. This means many customers could switch to a competitor without even attempting to resolve the problem first.

With respondents spending an average of £472 before switching, it is estimated that £12 billion is lost by UK businesses every year through poor service. Faced with a negative experience, 56% of those surveyed would never use that company again, 27% would tell friends and peers, and 19% would take their revenge online by posting a review.

“Customers have a stronger influence on a business’s success than ever before and it’s surprising how many organisations still aren’t getting it right,” said Jonathan Gale, CEO, NewVoiceMedia. “Customer experience is a key differentiator. By doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful.”

Complaints can’t be kept quiet in the digital age

Any organisation that thinks it can keep a complaint quiet in the digital age is unrealistic – 19% of respondents would post an online review and 14% would complain via social media if they are not happy with the service they are receiving.

Younger generation more patient than older generation

Surprisingly, it’s the younger generation that are more willing to tolerate long hold times, perhaps due to a greater capacity for multi-tasking.

  • Only 49% of 16–24-year-olds are prepared to wait 5–10 minutes before hanging up, compared to 67% of those aged 55+.
  • 30% would wait 11–20 minutes, whereas only 9% of those aged 55+ would wait 11–20 minutes.
  • 22% of those aged 55+ hang up within 5 minutes, compared to 8% of 16 – 24 year olds.

UK customers are willing to be loyal – if businesses get it right

Jonathan Gale

Jonathan Gale

Organisations can potentially increase their business if they offer excellent customer service. Following a positive customer experience, 74% of respondents would be more loyal, 71% would recommend a company to others and nearly half (44%) would use the business more frequently. 34% are prepared to spend more money with the company.

“This research highlights the cumulative effect of business interactions on the customer experience,” concludes Gale. “Customers want personal and engaging experiences every time, through every channel; from the steps they take to interact with a company to the agents they deal with. Organisations can’t continue to let business slip away. Listening to the needs of their customers is the first step. The second is actively doing something about it.”

Published On: 15th May 2013 - Last modified: 22nd Mar 2017
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