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UK customer relations like loveless marriages

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12th Feb 2013
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British companies are failing to keep the love alive with customers as 69% feel they are either in an open marriage or in an on-again-off-again relationship.

And businesses are admitting the spark between the two has gone. According to Strativity’s survey of 402 business executives, 47% of firms believe that customers only stay with them because of inertia whilst a further 24% believe the relationship is based on convenience or price.

With customer expectations reaching an all-time low, 37% of survey respondents admitted that they have become too comfortable and complacent.

Lior Arussy, CEO of Strativity, said: “Many couples find that good communication withers away a few years into a marriage; the same is true of companies and their customers. If you only talk when you are fighting (when a customer has a complaint) and on special occasions (a renewal date), then it’s time to call in the marriage guidance counsellor.”

But despite the tough economic outlook, the survey revealed that British businesses are lacklustre about improving customer relationships and unwilling to invest. Just 7% of UK respondents are planning to ‘shower customers with gifts’ (rewards or loyalty schemes) to entice customers to stay, compared to 20% of US companies, the figures showed.

Chris Mills, Strativity’s UK MD, warned: “If you let your ego get in the way of making an effort with your relationship, don’t be surprised if your customer walks away. There is no room for complacency in good economic times or bad but when we are threatened with a triple dip recession, you have to put the customer first in order to survive.”

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