In terms of customer service, UK companies are now lagging behind those in other developed nations as they fail to act on the link between satisfied customers and profit, according to a survey by customer satisfaction experts at The Leadership Factor.
Almost 70% of the 2,000 survey respondents accused UK companies of failing to reward their loyalty and, as a nation, the UK was also branded as having the worst approach to customer service among major markets.
Consumers lack a voice
Nearly half (49%) felt that UK consumers are treated most poorly when compared with consumers in Japan (4%), the USA (10%), and France (16%).
And the survey found that 79% of consumers agreed that "bosses are more obsessed with the latest management fad than with what customers think", and 27% thought that "satisfying customers was of least importance to large companies".
When asked what they thought was of the greatest importance to large companies, 91% of UK consumers quite understandably cited "making money". However, The Leadership Factor noted that companies that invest in improving customer satisfaction can increase their profitability while cutting down on such accusations from their customers.
Damage to customer loyalty
In terms of sectors, public transport was the least popular, with over half (53%) thinking that these companies were bad at understanding customer needs, and a further 47% thinking that they were the worst at rewarding customer loyalty (the highest percentage for any sector).
According to Nigel Hill, managing director for The Leadership Factor, "From our experience, customers are often not valued until they are lost. But implementing a rigorous and comprehensive approach to improving customer satisfaction can help companies increase their customer retention rates and drive growth through positive word of mouth. A common misunderstanding is that improving customer satisfaction is too costly, but the opposite is true: companies need to do all they can to retain existing customers before they start to look elsewhere."