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A Nation of Serial Switchers
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A Nation of Serial Switchers

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Published

New research, undertaken by …

New research, undertaken by
leading cloud contact centre vendor
NewVoiceMedia, provides a snapshot
of attitudes to customer service in the
UK. Offering a compelling view of the
consequences of poor customer service,
the results reveal that an estimated
£12 billion is lost by UK companies each
year following an inadequate customer
experience.

Published in Business , Education
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  • 1. A nation of serial switchersUnderstanding that good customer service pays New research, undertaken by leading cloud contact centre vendor NewVoiceMedia, provides a snapshot of attitudes to customer service in the UK. Offering a compelling view of the consequences of poor customer service, the results reveal that an estimated £12 billion is lost by UK companies each year following an inadequate customer experience.
  • 2. executiveoverview Great customer service pays dividends Knowing how tough the current economic climate is here in the UK, I was surprised to see how much poor customer service is actually costing UK businesses. An estimated £12 billion is lost each year because consumers are unhappy with the service they are experiencing and are switching to a competitor. Worse still, many consumers believe that the process of resolving issues is so cumbersome that they don’t even attempt to make contact. Our research showed that half of those surveyed would switch their business. This should serve as a wake-up call - half of a company’s customers could literally disappear overnight and they wouldn’t even know why! However,ourresearchprovesthatifanorganisation gets it right, customers will spend more and remain loyal. Companies could therefore significantly increase their business if they were to invest in providing a positive customer experience. Voice is still the first channel of choice, and there are simple steps that an organisation can take to get it right. Don’t leave customers on hold, resolve issues quickly and integrate your telephony with a cloud CRM system to provide a personalised service. The findings around social media were of particular interest. Although not significant in volume today, they clearly demonstrate the generational importance of the channel – and that it’s likely to explode in relevance as Gen Y consumers’ spending power increases. For businesses to remain relevant, they have to change the relationship that they have with customers – treating them as individuals, understanding their buying patterns, likes and dislikes, and the overall experience they have with your company. Companies need to harness the power of cloud technology to allow them to provide that level of personalised customer service. Tel: 0207 206 8888 | Sales: 0207 785 8888 | www.newvoicemedia.compage 1. by Jonathan Gale, CEO NewVoiceMedia Jonathan Gale
  • 3. Tel: 0207 206 8888 | Sales: 0207 785 8888 | www.newvoicemedia.compage 2. A nation of serial switchers key themes Half your business could disappear overnight Half (50%) of consumers will buy from a competitor as a result of a poor customer experience. UK companies are losing £12 billion each year because consumers are fed up with being passed around to multiple agents, getting stuck in queues or being put on hold. Respondents also say contact centre staff often lack the information required to adequately answer their questions. Loyalty, what loyalty? 93% of respondents have switched business at least once, and sometimes twice in the last year because of poor customer service. This also indicates how fickle consumers are when it comes to sticking with one company. ‘On hold’ leaves customers cold Almost half of those surveyed (49%) are actually put off from calling a business directly to discuss an issue, for fear of being kept on hold or in a queue. This means that many could switch to a competitor without even saying anything. 6% imagine the process to be so slow that they simply don’t bother. Get it wrong and you’re gone When asked what they would do if they experienced poor customer service, over half of respondents would never use that company again (56%), more than a quarter would tell their friends and peers (27%), nearly a fifth (19%) would post something online and 1 in 6 would use social media (14%) to spread the word. Only 5% said they wouldn’t do anything at all. Seeking social justice Be warned, thinking you can keep complaints quiet in this digital age is unrealistic. A staggering 1 in 3 (31%) 16 to 24 year-olds will post online if they are unhappy with the service they are receiving. 19% of the total sample size would post online and 14% would complain via social media. Good customer service pays Companies could significantly increase their business if they offer customers a great experience. Following a good service, 74% of respondents say they would be very loyal, 71% would recommend a company to others and nearly half (44%) would use the company more frequently. Clearly people still like the idea of being loyal if they receive good service. If not, they will go elsewhere. Pick up the phone Nothing beats direct interaction. Around two thirds (66%) of respondents think calling would give the quickest response to resolve an issue. Get ready for Gen Y While 89% of those surveyed stated that traditional forms of communication such as email and phone were the preferred means of complaining, the younger generation is posting online and more in tune with social media. This will only increase as the younger generation matures. Over the next few years we expect to see these statistics soar. We expect this to increase as the younger generation matures.
  • 4. researchresults Have you switched to a different business as a result of poor customer service? 50% have switched to a different business as a result of poor customer service. Over a quarter did so because they simply didn’t feel appreciated as a customer (28%). Over one fifth (22%) moved because staff were unhelpful and rude, and one sixth (16%) switched because they were passed on to lots of different people. If you switched, how much on average were you spending? Those surveyed, who switched, were spending an average of £472.20 over the course of a year which equates to a total of the UK spending £12 billion (£11,981,602,800) or 0.75% of GDP in 2012 *This has been calculated by multiplying the figure (£472.20) by 50% of adult population of the UK (50,748,000) i.e. 50% of respondents have switched, therefore this equates to 25,374,000 How many times have you switched businesses in the last year owing to poor customer service? 73% of those surveyed have switched at least once, and 19% twice. The younger generation are also voting with their feet, with the highest mean average coming from the younger age group. What puts you off calling a business directly in relation to an issue? Almost half of the respondents (49%) say being kept on hold puts them off. 45% are disgruntled with having to repeat the same information to multiple agents, and 44% are put off by the cost of the call. Not being able to speak to a real person straight away irritates 40% of those surveyed. People dislike being kept on hold, and women object to having to repeat the same question to multiple agents. Over 55s clearly don’t like being kept on hold (55%) whereas the younger generation (16-24) are put off by the cost of the call (56%). Tel: 0207 206 8888 | Sales: 0207 785 8888 | www.newvoicemedia.compage 3. Question1Question2Question3 Question4 55% of over 55s clearly don’t like being kept on hold. 40% irritated by not being able to speak to a real person straight away. Undertaken by independent research company, Opinion Matters from 12th March to 26th March 2013 with a sample size of 2034 UK adults.
  • 5. researchresults What would you do if you experienced poor service? Over half (58%) would write to complain using email or mail, while 56% would not use that company again. Over one quarter (27%) would tell friends and peers. Interestingly, nearly one fifth (19%) would post a comment online and 1 in 6 (14%) would use social media. Only 5% wouldn’t do anything – this means that 95% would react or respond in some way. Women are generally more verbal than men when it comes to complaining, with over 61% saying they would write a letter of complaint. Over half (57%) would not use the service again, and 28% would tell their friends. 19% would post online and 15% would use social media. These were all higher than those quoted by men. 65% of over 55s would write a letter of complaint versus only 33% of 16–24 year- olds. Instead, 16-24 year-olds would head online, with 31% saying they would post an online review (versus 14% of over 55s) and 31% complaining via social media (versus 8% of over 55s). We expect this to increase as the younger generation matures. What do you think is the most effective way to get your problem solved? When it comes to solving problems, dialogue and traditional forms of communication are still chosen over social media. Emailing (29%), calling (28%) and sending a letter (25%) were cited as most effective. Twitter and texting remain low at 2%. 30% of women prefer to send an email, 26% like to call, and 27% prefer to write a letter. 30% of men prefer to call, 27% email and 23% write a letter. Younger people want to talk: 52% of 16-24 year-olds would prefer to speak to someone, although they are five times more likely to use social media and text than over 55s. Tel: 0207 206 8888 | Sales: 0207 785 8888 | www.newvoicemedia.compage 4. Question6 Undertaken by independent research company, Opinion Matters from 12th March to 26th March 2013 with a sample size of 2034 UK adults. Question5 19% would post a comment online. 30%of women prefer to send an email as an effective problem solving method. 52% of 16-24yrs prefer to speak to someone.
  • 6. researchresults How long are you prepared to hold before hanging up? Interestingly, only 16% said that they were prepared to wait less than 5 minutes, which demonstrates that as a nation we are still pretty tolerant. Nearly two thirds (64%) were prepared to wait between 5-10 minutes. Men are generally more impatient than women. One fifth are prepared to wait less than 5 minutes (20%) versus only 13% of women. The older generation (55+) are more impatient. Over one fifth (22%) would wait for less than 5 minutes versus 8% of 16–24 year- olds. 49% of 16-24 year-olds are prepared to wait 5-10 minutes, and 30% are prepared to wait 11-20 minutes. That’s compared to only 9% of over 55s willing to wait the same amount of time. If a company gave you good service, how would this affect your relationship with them? 74% of respondents said they would be very loyal, 71% would recommend the company to others, nearly half (44%) would use them more frequently and 34% would spend more money with the organisation. Women are more vocal at recommending versus men who would actually use the service more frequently. When looking at the age ranges, the older generation are more likely to recommend than younger people. They would also be more likely to use the service more frequently (50%) for the 55+ range, and 46% for the 45- 54 range. Tel: 0207 206 8888 | Sales: 0207 785 8888 | www.newvoicemedia.compage 5. Question7Question8 20% of men are prepared to wait less than 5 mins before hanging up. 13% of women are prepared to wait less than 5 mins before hanging up. Undertaken by independent research company, Opinion Matters from 12th March to 26th March 2013 with a sample size of 2034 UK adults.
  • 7. researchresults What is your preferred method of communication with a business? Emailing was the most popular form of communication (44%), closely followed by calling (43%). These were clearly the two most preferred forms of communication with letter writing chosen by just 7% of respondents. There was no real difference between men and women when it came to communication.16-24 year-olds prefer to call (55%) than to email or write, and the older generation (55+) use post (9%) more than any other age group. What method of communication do you think would give the quickest response to getting your issue resolved? It was evident that direct contact was still the preferred method. 66% said calling, 23% said emailing, and 3% said the post. Social media channels were all below 3%. Calling was unanimously the preferred method of communication amongst men and women, and across all age ranges. Tel: 0207 206 8888 | Sales: 0207 785 8888 | www.newvoicemedia.compage 6. Question9Question10 Undertaken by independent research company, Opinion Matters from 12th March to 26th March 2013 with a sample size of 2034 UK adults. At 44% emailing is the most popular form of communication with a business. At 43% calling is the second most popular form of communication with a business.
  • 8. aboutnewvoicemedia ContactWorld from NewVoiceMedia is an enterprise class contact centre, delivered via a true multi-tenant cloud architecture. Our customers benefit from fast, flexible and cost effective access to contact centre capabilities that would normally be very complicated, expensive and slow to acquire, integrate and use. ContactWorld offers customers an incredibly rich suite of integrated call centre technologies. We leverage the cloud to provide complex data driven routing of calls so they are delivered to the correct agents. We provide them with the technology and information to resolve more enquiries first time, resulting in a more rewarding interaction between agents and customers. The ContactWorld platform provides a market leading 99.999% service availability SLA, and processes hundreds of millions of calls, for thousands of agents working across the globe. We have customers in 30 countries on 5 continents, including DPD, Topcon, H.R. Owen, QlikTech, Royal Mail, Lumesse and SHL Group. For further information, please visit: www.newvoicemedia.com