Just 2% of almost 6,000 UK shoppers polled stated mobile phone and telecom companies deliver good customer service.
With retail sales figures indicating a slow economic recovery in August and a fall in spending, this year’s annual National Customer Satisfaction survey results from Retail Eyes, a UK specialist in customer experience improvement programmes, demonstrates the need for telecom companies to do more if they’re to survive today’s competitive climate and prepare for the affects of the VAT rise in the New Year.
A huge 92% confirmed they had left an establishment before making a purchase after receiving poor customer service, which is 36% higher than Retail Eyes’ 2009 survey, and 74% agreed they would actually be prepared to pay more for a product if it meant they received a better service.
Despite the growth in internet retailers, shoppers still believe the best service is given in store (72%) and 47% said they browse online and then make a purchase in store.
Tim Ogle, CEO at Retail Eyes explained: “Our survey has highlighted that there’s a real opportunity for the telecoms industry to stand out from the crowd and use customer experience as a genuine point of difference to improve customer loyalty and repeat business. With the looming VAT rise consumers are continuing to be more considered in their purchasing decisions and businesses need to look at how every aspect of their business can deliver value to their customers.
“Customer service is going to be vital to survive and it’s clear from our survey that the first point of call should be ensuring staff are interacting with customers.”
Altogether, 50% of those questioned believe the best attribute for providing good customer service is ‘listening and understanding what the customer is looking for’. And when a customer asks where to find something, 76% expect to be taken to its location and not just pointed in the general direction. However, overall impressions can be simply affected by staff appearance, with 87% believing it will change their overall perception of the service.
Ogle continued: “Customer service is all about creating an experience that customers remember and want to revisit. Customers are looking for value for money and that means more than just price; it means the whole experience. Staff are ambassadors of the company and the brand, therefore it’s essential to provide the right training for employees and to have in place systems to monitor service delivery and quality.”