Nearly two-thirds of UK consumers are unlikely to buy from a company if they cannot interact through their preferred channel of communication, according to a survey from customer management firm Blueview Group.
The survey of 2,000 adult consumers found that 66% would be extremely likely to abandon all dealings with a company they had never actually purchased from before if the company did not offer their chosen communication channel, whether it be mail, email, telephone, the web, or face-to-face.
Most consumers also said that they wanted communication choice from their existing suppliers, with 61% saying they were extremely likely to switch to a competitor if a company they were already buying from failed to offer their favoured communication channel.
In the case of existing suppliers, the 55+ age group was most likely to demand channel choice with 64% going to a competitor if they were not offered their favoured channel, followed by 25-34 (61%), 35-44 (60%), 45-54 (58%) and 18-24 (54%).
But when it came to communication with a new company, the survey found that the older the consumer, the more likely they were to demand their preference of channel. The 55+ age group was the most adamant with 74% saying they would look for another supplier if not given an adequate choice, followed by the 45-54 age group (65%), 35-44 (62%), 35-34 (61%) and 18-24 (56%).
Regionally, the most demanding British consumers live in London and the South East, the South West, Wales and East Anglia, while consumers from North East England, Northern Scotland and Lancashire were more relaxed about not having access to their preferred channel.
According to Darren Ponsford, Blueview's strategy and planning director, "Companies need to allow both existing and prospective customers to talk to them in the way they want. At the most basic level, marketers need to find out what the favoured communications channels are for each consumer. Capturing customer and prospect communication preferences is therefore a first step in modern marketing."