According to a report from Accenture, the vast majority of people say that companies could have done more to keep them as customers.
Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said that their loyalty could have been retained if the company they were interacting with had acted faster on their problem or query. Of those, 69 per cent would have stayed if their problem was solved the first time they contacted the company – and not after multiple times. Fifty-five per cent said they would be inclined to stay if they were given preferential treatment for having remained loyal to the business or doing more business with them.
The same report also showed that a reasonable proportion (48 per cent) of UK consumers had switched providers because of poor customer service.
This shows, more than ever, that implementing an effective and influential customer service is key to retaining custom.
Retail is the worst sector for fickle customers with 20 per cent of people switching. Twelve per cent of people change banks, Internet service providers and utility companies. Landline phone providers have been hit with a 9 per cent rate, cable and satellite TV services lumped with 7 per cent and mobile phone networks at 5 per cent.
"There's an incredible churn taking place at the moment," said Accenture UK & Ireland's managing director for CRM Rachel Barton. "The fact is that companies could have retained 85 per cent of consumers who switched just by getting some of the basics right.
"Companies are still not getting this right. The frustration points that consumers are citing are not that different from those they were talking about two or three years ago."
So, how do you go about saving yourself from being axed by a dissatisfied customer?
Well, 80 per cent said that skilled and polite customer service staff are most important, followed by a fast resolution of problems and delivering upon the brand promise.
This means make sure that your marketing teams are working with your customer facing query teams to ensure that the brand promise is always being lived up to.
It's also interesting to see that 34 per cent said that ease of doing business is what they like about doing business with a company, followed by high-quality products with 28 per cent of respondents. Competitive pricing comes fourth with 28 per cent, and 27 per cent want trustworthiness from whatever business they interact with.
The marketplace is flooded with alternatives, and you don't want to give your customers an excuse for leaving you early. Seventy-four per cent of those surveyed said that they are always evaluating who they do business with, with many people also feeling that they could get a better deal elsewhere.
While social media may not have as big an impact as you'd imagine, the UK has the biggest percentage of people telling their friends and others about poor experiences. Seventy-eight per cent say that they have told someone in person about a bad experience, with 20 per cent having posted the experience online for all to see.
Compare this to Ireland, where 92 per cent complain in person, or to Japan, where only 50 per cent complain, and you can see that the UK is not the market to upset.
You can read the full report here
Are you surprised by these abandonment rates?
Would you expect more customers to be pleased with the service they're given?
Let us know by leaving a comment below with your thoughts.
At this year's Europe's Customer Festival the topic of retaining customer loyalty will be on the cards and you'll be able to learn from the best and brightest in the industry all the tips and tricks you need to e ensure you deliver the best to your customers.