50% of UK shoppers stop buying after bad service
Most of today's business leaders feel that the next major battleground is the 'customer experience', despite fewer than one in ten consumers feeling that companies are doing a good job, according to UK-based customer experience consultancy Sidona Group.
When the company compiled the latest market figures and research data in order to better understand how improvements in customer service could lead to a competitive advantage, it found that 85% of business leaders say that the customer experience is likely to be their next competitive battleground.
However, while 80% of business leaders believe their companies are currently doing a good job in the way they treat customers, only 8% of consumers agree with that statement.
This amounts to poor customer services which are estimated to cost the UK economy some 14 billion a year.
Perhaps not surprisingly, more than 50% of customers say they give up buying as a result of poor customer service.
Derek Blackburn, managing director for Sidona Group, noted: "While most companies believe that price is the key competitive differentiator, we disagree that price should be the be-all and end-all of business strategy."
In fact, in a commoditised market, other key factors such as the customer experience (which includes good customer service) become the key differentiator, Blackburn argues.
Morale and consumer confidence drop significantly in times of recession, so inspiring confidence and building long lasting relationships with customers is absolutely crucial for success.
"While many businesses must take immediate decisions to ensure success in these tough times, it is vital to balance this with a longer term view of building a strong and loyal customer base," concluded Blackburn.