£12 billion: The shocking cost of poor customer experience

13th May 2013

UK businesses are losing £12bn each year as a result of providing poor customer experience, forcing half of customers to take their business elsewhere.

That's according to new research from NewVoiceMedia, which revealed that 92% of customers have switched at least once or twice in the last year and with respondents spending an average of £472 before switching, this transpires to the estimated £12 billion loss.

Faced with a negative experience, 56% of those surveyed would never use that company again whilst 27% said they would tell friends and peers, and 19% would take their revenge online by posting a review, the findings showed.

Jonathan Gale, CEO of NewVoiceMedia, said: “Customers have a stronger influence on a business’s success than ever before and it’s surprising how many organisations still aren’t getting it right. Customer experience is a key differentiator. By doing it well, organisations can drive the customer acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading companies successful.”

Meanwhile, the survey also examined the rise of customer complaints in a digital age. According to the figures, 19% of respondents would post an online review and 14% would complain via social media if they are not happy with the service they are receiving.

But customers are willing to be loyal if businesses get it right. Following a positive customer experience, 74% of respondents claimed to be more loyal, 71% would recommend a company to others and nearly half (44%) would use the business more frequently.

So how exactly can businesses meet customer expectations? The survey showed that voice is still the channel of choice for a quick response with two thirds of those surveyed preferring to get on the phone. A huge 89% of those surveyed said they prefer traditional forms of communication such as phone and email, and a higher proportion of Generation Y were found to make contact with businesses through social media or text messages.

Gales added: “This research highlights the cumulative effect of business interactions on the customer experience. Customers want personal and engaging experiences every time, through every channel; from the steps they take to interact with a company to the agents they deal with. Organisations can’t continue to let business slip away. Listening to the needs of their customers is the first step. The second is actively doing something about it.”

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