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Service: "One strike and you're out" customers tell brands

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6th Feb 2012
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UK businesses only have one chance to get it right when it comes to customer service, a new study of 2,000 UK consumers commissioned by Enterprise Rent-A-Car has found.

Six out of ten UK consumers say that if they receive bad service once, they will never buy from that company again. And yet the study also found that consumers are more concerned with getting the basics right rather than adding special extra touches or flourishes.
Asked what ‘good customer service’ actually means to them, the two most popular responses from respondents were helpful and responsive employees (chosen by 84%) and quickly sorting out the problem if something goes wrong (75%).
Almost half of the 2,000 consumers surveyed said rude and unfriendly staff were the most irritating thing about bad service, while a third said that a company that is slow to fix problems is the thing they dislike most.
Mike Nigro, UK managing director at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: “This research highlights the importance of high-quality, well-trained employees who deliver great service each and every time. It also shows that consumers are accepting when things don’t quite go as expected, but it’s how issues are handled that can define great service. This is perhaps even more vital in an era where social networks allow people to complain online in seconds.
“The British public are no longer tolerant of poor service and quite rightly will vote with their feet. Nowadays we have a ‘one chance high street’ – if you don’t provide great service from the very beginning, you won’t get a second opportunity.”
The research highlights growing intolerance among consumers with 37% of respondents saying they always complain when they receive bad service. Over a third (34%) actually think the service from UK retailers has got worse over the past ten years.
The older you are, the more likely you are to complain if you experience bad customer service. Half of over 50s say they have always complained when they have received poor customer service, versus a fifth of 16 to 24 year olds.
Meanwhile, the survey highlights some interesting difference in the way men and women view and respond to customer service: 54% of women will choose a retailer based on its brand name and reputation, as opposed to only 46% of men. At the same time, 57% of women, versus 45% of men, think good customer service involves an easy and pleasant experience in comfortable surroundings.
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By Rbacal
07th Feb 2012 14:02

 I think the focus on basics is hugely important and oft ignored by customer service "experts", but it's good to keep in mind that what people SAY, and what they DO is often different. The number of people who say they'll never go back to a company, and the number of people who ACTUALLY never go back are different. Surveys overestimate the effect of annoying a customer. Convenience and price almost always "win" over time.

 

 

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