Post-recession consumers demand customer service quality - report

12th Jul 2010

"You don’t understand us, you don’t listen to us and there are no indications that you’re improving."

That’s the damning message to businesses outlined in a new consumer study which reveals how the global economic crisis has changed customer expectations.
The Convergys Relationship Management Scorecard study polled over 1,600 UK consumers earlier this year. And the findings have revealed that customers are increasingly seeking quality - in terms of product and customer service - over price, with consumer emphasis on price decreasing since the last survey.
The bad news is that businesses aren’t reflecting these changes. 79% of those questioned said that the standard of customer service has remained the same or decreased in the last year. Indeed, over half (51%) of customers have had a bad service experience in the last year – with 45% of them vowing to desert the company.
Furthermore, over half of consumers are convinced that firms don’t understand their experiences (57%) and do not act on or listen to customer feedback (53%).
This is borne out by research findings which explored what happens when customers complain. Shockingly, in only a third of cases (33%) was the issue resolved, with 47% of respondents reporting that their complaints were not handled to satisfaction and, most alarmingly, nearly a fifth (19%) reporting that they received no answer from the company at all.
Unsurprisingly, attrition is around 30% higher if the company does not respond or resolve the problem.
"A year ago we spent a long time speaking about non-vocal attrition - those who have a bad experience and then leave without any warning," said Paul Trefonas, VP of international sales at Convergys. "But things have changed a lot in the last year. Today, in the post-economic crisis world, customers are very vocal and if they have a bad experience they will tell you about it. Interestingly, they will give you the chance to have a resolution – but if you don’t resolve the situation they are much more likely to leave."

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