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UK businesses lose £12 billion a year through poor customer experience: new study

New research has revealed that UK companies that are perceived to offer poor customer service could be losing approximately £12 billion a year in lost business.


UK businesses lose £12 billion a year through poor customer experience: new study

New research has revealed that UK companies that are perceived to offer poor customer service could be losing approximately £12 billion a year in lost business.

A survey by cloud contact centre vendor NewVoiceMedia found that half of UK consumers said they had taken their business elsewhere as a result of inadequate service and of those, 92% had switched at least once or twice in the last year. Furthermore, 49% of survey respondents said they had been put off from calling a business for fear of being kept on hold or in a queue, meaning that many customers may switch to a competitor without even attempting to resolve the problem first.

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

Jonathan Gale, chief executive of NewVoiceMedia, said: "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.

"Customer experience is a key differentiator. By doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful."

The results of the survey show that 19% of respondents would post an online review and 14% would complain via social media if they were unhappy with the service they received from a business.

The younger generation were found to be more willing to tolerate long hold times when telephoning a company with 30% of respondents saying they would wait 11 to 20 minutes whereas only 9% of those aged over 55 would wait for that length of time.

Following a positive customer experience, 74% of respondents said they would be more loyal to a company, while 71% would recommend a company to others. While 44% said they would be prepared to use a business more frequently after good service, 34% would be prepared to spend more money with the company.

Voice was found to be the channel of choice for a quick response with 66% of respondents preferring to get on the phone and speak to someone to get an issue resolved quickly versus 23% who would prefer to address an issue via email.

Gale added: "This research highlights the cumulative effect of business interactions on the customer experience. 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." 

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