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Customers demand better service - but few think they're receiving it

18th Mar 2011
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While just over four out of five consumers expect higher levels of customer service than they did three years ago, only a tiny 5% believe they are receiving it.

To make matters worse, a mere 14% of those questioned by pollster YouGov on behalf of Avanade, a joint services venture between Accenture and Microsoft, believe that companies live up to the customer service promises that they make.

Jonathan Rowley, Avanade’s CRM director, said: "Everyone knows that in tough times, you absolutely need to look after the customers you already have in order to protect your revenue – as a rule of thumb, it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one satisfied."

As to customers preferred channel for making complaints, top of the list was email (63%), followed by the telephone (41%). One out of five chose to use blogs and social networks to complain to family and friends, however, with the figure rising to 36% among 18 to 24 year olds.

"There has been a lot of hype in the industry about social CRM and the need to capture complaints online, but these findings clearly illustrate that businesses still need to get the basics right," said Rowley.

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By Richard Higginbotham
23rd Mar 2011 16:12

Sadly, our latest research largely confirms the findings of this article: it showed that only a fifth of UK consumers report that they see any of the firms they buy from using their personal data to make attractive offers and deliver good customer service.

 Most brands should be able to call upon the large repository of information they hold on each customer – which ranges from names and addresses to credit details to customer preferences and purchasing behaviour – to better communicate with these consumers and understand their needs, especially when it comes to customer service. Yet the vast majority are still unable to effectively use this data to inform their decisions on customer service and communications across the range of channels available to each consumer. With the research showing that 90% of UK consumers say they would stop buying from a brand because of bad customer service, it seems high time companies seriously think about creating centralised systems that allow them to tap into this data to better instil confidence and trust. 

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