UK companies face boycotts for poor service

Research reveals over half (56%) of Brits would stop shopping with a brand if they experienced slow customer service. That is according to 8×8, which recently carried out a survey of 2,000 adults in the UK.

Slow service is a widespread issue for consumers – nearly two-thirds (64%) of people have been frustrated at the length of time it has taken a customer service team at a company to solve a problem.

Speed is everything for customers – the research reveals that the time it took to get through to someone is the most common reason customers lose patience with a customer service team (36%) followed by having to wait to get their query resolved (30%). Quick and easy access to contact information is also a key factor, as a quarter (25%) have lost patience by having to wade through too many screening questions in order to access contact information.

When asked about the types of businesses they are most likely to lose patience with, customers named utilities and telecom firms in the top spot (33%), followed by retail (24%), and local Government (21%). This suggests that organisations in these sectors are at the greatest risk of losing customers to slow service.

To help them get an answer in the quickest and easiest way possible, 78% of Brits expect companies to provide multiple channels to contact their customer service team on, such as phone, email, web chat, and social media. Despite this, over half (58%) of businesses still only offer one communication channel to contact customer service teams – an experience 52% of Brits find frustrating.

Mary Ellen Genovese, MD of European Operations, 8×8, said: “We all expect companies to deliver a fast and joined-up response to our queries regardless of their nature. Our research reveals speed is everything – consumers have little patience for slow service and, when frustrated, won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere.

“Businesses that don’t meet customer expectations risk losing out to faster competitors, not just over established channels such as phone and email, but across web chat and social media too. 8×8 is helping companies provide high quality service by linking all channels in one platform – not only can companies use analytics to pinpoint bottlenecks, but agents can collaborate instantly with the right experts internally, leading to customer queries being resolved faster.”

The research also reveals that customers expect traditional channels to deliver a faster response rate. When asked which customer service platforms they lose patience with the most, 37% said phone, compared to just 12% for email and 10% for live chat.

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine