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Bad customer service: Brits finally finding their voices

15th Jun 2014
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The stereotype is being turned on its head: people of the UK are no longer willing to let companies get away with bad customer service, and are becoming savvier at breaking the silence and giving feedback when businesses are underperforming.

Research from NewVoiceMedia has revealed that, against all their traditional cultural inhibitions, 57% of the population say they will now give a business feedback when they’re not reaching desired expectations, while 73% say they are standing up for customer service standards more than they were 10 years ago.

Social media is proving to be the tool of empowerment, with 37% of the population saying they use tools such as Twitter and Facebook to vent their spleens when they experience something they believe to be poor customer service.

Not all complaints are made with injustice in mind, however; especially among the younger generation. One in five 16-25 year olds complain with the hope of gaining a tangible compensation, while around one in twelve do it with the superficial aim of increasing likes or followers on social media.    

“Customer feedback, whether delivered privately as most respondents still do, or publicly for others to witness, should of course receive equal attention and subsequent action,” says customer experience and social business strategist, Martin Hill-Wilson. “However, there is growing belief and some evidence that organisations become more motivated to improve their customer service when it is on show via a social network.

“As it stands today, 73% of UK consumers are standing up for customer service standards more than ten years ago with just 8% claiming to have lower expectations. Clearly the investment of turning customer feedback into actionable insight and sustainable service improvements is still being made. In the age of social engagement this is something all organisations should consciously prioritise”.

The research forms part of NewVoiceMedia’s serial switchers’ study, which also found that over half of consumers are “taking their business elsewhere as a result of inadequate service”. It estimates that the cost of bad service is somewhere close to £12bn a year in the UK alone. 

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