According to new research from the cloud technology provider, NewVoiceMedia, poor levels of customer service in UK businesses is resulting in a £11 billion loss per year, with the main reason given by 44 per cent of consumers for leaving a company is down to ‘feeling unappreciated’.
The company, which has developed an extensive portfolio of White Papers related to the discussion of customer service and engagement, determined other reasons for consumers leaving were in line with previous findings; as 35 per cent stated that staff were ‘unhelpful/rude staff’; 33 per cent felt they were ‘being passed around’ to multiple people/agents; 27 per cent were unable to retrieve the answers needed; the same number were ‘fed up’ with queuing; and 25 per cent were not able to speak with an appropriate person.
Abundant emphasis on the integration of self-service options has become a consistent topic of conversation in the industry for the last few years, however, 61 per cent consider telephone communication to be the ‘quickest solution’ to resolving a query, whereas emailing is a preferred method by 49 per cent of respondents as a way of communicating with a company.
Surprisingly found to be the quickest solution, there does seem to be an overall dislike in calling companies by 48 per cent of respondents; in addition to 42 per cent noting the annoyance of not being able to speak to a ‘real person’ straight away. The cost of calling and the multiple menu options before being directed to an agent were also key issues addressed, and the average call time before a consumer decides to hang up was calculated at 11 minutes.
The CEO of NewVoiceMedia, Jonathan Gale, said: “With revenue being transferred between companies at an alarming rate, this research highlights the considerable impact that customers have on a business’s success. Customer experience is the key differentiator, and by doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful.”
Furthermore, more than half of those who have experienced poor customer service would write to complain; 20 per cent would post a review online; 16 per cent would tell friends or colleagues not to use the company and the same number would vent frustration via social media platforms to publicly complain about a company’s service.
Despite a heavy focus on the negative, if consumers were provided with exceptional service, 68 per cent would ‘be more loyal’ to a particular company; 59 per cent would recommend the company to others; and 34 per cent would use the company on a frequent basis.
The £11 billion figure is also a decrease of £1.2 from research commissioned in 2013, which reported UK firms were losing £12.2 billion.
To download the ‘Feedback loops in customer service’ White Paper, click here