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Consumers react to bad customer service

Research finds over 90 per cent of UK plc has lost business due to bad service as customers simply go elsewhere

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Consumers react to bad customer service

Research finds over 90 per cent of UK plc has lost business due to bad service as customers simply go elsewhere

A new survey has found that UKbusinesses are losing out on valuable customers due to bad customer service. Nine out of ten (92 per cent) of UK consumers stated that they’ve not done business with a company again following a bad customer service experience.

The survey of over 1000 respondents by Internet Service Provider Eclipse Internet also found that 73 per cent of Britons have experienced bad customer service five times or more in the last year. A further 32 per cent of those had had a bad experience ten times or more. Of those questioned, 16 per cent branded customer service in Britainas simply awful.

Interestingly, 58 per cent of those questioned believed that online shopping has enhanced customer service but that there was still room for improvement. Almost nine in ten (89 per cent) cited this could get better with almost half (46 per cent) saying they need more phone support when buying online and over a quarter (27 per cent) calling for after sales service to be improved.

Clodagh Murphy, director at Eclipse, commented on the findings: “It’s clear that UKconsumers are becoming more and more demanding. Large shopping centres and the internet has meant customers have more choice than ever before so are willing to shop around. If they have a bad experience, they simply won’t go back.”

“Companies should be continuously looking into ways they can improve customer service. More and more companies, including ourselves, are using new ways to do this, like monitoring social networking sites allowing us to respond in almost real-time or pro-actively telling customers about any issues or problems. Businesses today need to realise that customers come first and losing any through bad serving can be detrimental.”

Eclipse also asked consumers for the worst customer experience they’ve ever had from UKbusinesses and released the five most common found:

1. Sales assistants who spend the entire time on the phone, unwilling to help although the customer shows great interest in the product, and chewing gum.

2. Repeated long delays while waiting on hold, or assuring an action has been done which later proves to be untrue.

3. Frequently being sent the wrong/incorrect bills by a company

4. Having to wait months for a company to repair a product, even when insured and for which the customer was still paying for when they didn’t have it. Long delays when phoning the retailer  just to speak to someone.

5. Complete and utter failure on the company's part, refusal by the company to do anything about the failure, and final letter of correspondence advising the customer to ‘put up with it’ or to go elsewhere.

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