Poor Customer Service Costs Companies Billions

by Jim Berkowitz on January 22, 2010

New research from Oxford Brookes University has revealed that over the past few years, companies have lost millions of customers, costing them an estimated $6.28 billion. The survey of 2000 people found that three out of four switched at least one product or service in the last two years, with more than one in five people blaming poor customer service.

The recent tough economic times has meant that unfortunately sometimes service has been included in many of the cutbacks made across an organization. However, service is precisely what will keep current customers and continue to attract new ones.

“When emerging from a downturn, it is essential to capitalize on any sort of competitive edge by instilling the ability to receive feedback and take tangible, proactive action to meet customers’ demands,” said Matt Fisher, Director at FrontRange Solutions, a leading provider of CRM solutions.

According to a survey conducted by Teleperformance several months ago, a single negative experience with a customer call center would likely cause 68% of the respondents to take their business elsewhere. Over 1000 U.S. adult consumers completed the survey in October.

“In a tight economy, retaining customers is critical,” said Dominic Dato, Executive Chairman of Teleperformance USA. “Companies can’t afford not to make quality customer service a priority. These survey results underscore how important the customer experience is to customer retention.”

Survey results also revealed consumers expect excellent service in return for brand loyalty:

  • 87% of people felt they had a right to a better contact center experience if they regularly spend money with a company or stay loyal to a brand
  • 51% of people said the main reason for their dissatisfaction with a company is poor customer service or a bad contact center experience

“Much has been made of the birth of “Generation Y”ers – those who multi-task throughout life and communicate with organizations via a multitude of channels,” said Fisher. “This should strongly underline the need for businesses to reassess their service provision. This young demographic’s demand is for more, not less, personalized and tailored services, fully utilizing technology to deliver robust services.  Organizations that are providing and delivering robust services win; there is no second place,” noted Mr. Fisher.

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