Customers head for the exit at first sign of poor service

Poor customer service is taking a toll on companies which thought their customers were loyal.

The latest findings by global consultancy firm Accenture show customers are more loyal to their experience than the company itself or the brand with poor service.

This has been cited as the main reason for customer switch, particularly in service industries such as banking and Internet, where switching behaviour is at 41 per cent and 46 per cent respectively.

Poor customer service is cited as the primary reason for altering preferences. Accenture’s 2014 Global Consumer Pulse Research, released on Monday, showed 88 per cent respondents switched at least one industry because of poor service quality — a number significantly higher than the global average of 64 per cent.

The lack of knowledge of customer service representatives is the second-most cited reason for switching.

“No surprise that customers switching companies, especially due to poor customer service, remains a growing concern. This is true especially in India,” the report said.

Accenture estimates that the switching economy in India is currently worth $331 billion.

“Switching customers represents a huge potential loss of revenue for companies that fail to retain them, and a huge opportunity for those that can attract them,” the study said.

The study brings out a distinct lack of customer loyalty to companies, as seven in 10 customers surveyed said they are more likely to switch from one provider to another today than 10 years ago.

“Our survey has further revealed that digital disruption is steadily eroding customer loyalty,” Accenture said.

“Only 27 per cent respondents feel extremely loyal toward their providers or are willing to buy more products and services from them, while nearly one-quarter of them are evaluating/considering other providers more often.”

The survey in India indicates that 86 percent of customers who switched said that the companies could have done something to prevent their service providers from switching. And, 56 percent of customers are willing to give their service providers another chance, if the companies make it worth their while.

“Customers expect their providers to know them, and therefore, offer more personalized interactions to them,” Accenture said.

While personalisation clearly emerged as the core driver of customer satisfaction, more than half the respondents said companies do not use the information provided by them across multiple channels to make offers relevant or interactions meaningful.

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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 7:40:43 PM |

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