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Poor Customer Service Costs UK Businesses £12 Billion Every Year

16 May 2013 by Jeremy Taylor

Businesses put so much effort into attracting new customers that they often neglect their existing ones. The impact of this is highlighted in new research which estimates that UK businesses lose £12 billion every year as a result of poor customer service.

Traditionally, poor customer service is something we associate with call centres that are more interested in keeping costs down than providing a valuable service. We’ve all experienced the tedious process of waiting on hold to speak to someone, before being transferred to-and-fro between agents reading from scripts. Perhaps this is why so many of us now turn to social channels when we have a problem.


This is particularly true of Generation Y. The research, conducted by NewVoiceMedia, shows that roughly a third of 16-24 year-olds will post online if they are unhappy with the service they are receiving. However, if they receive good service, 71% would recommend the company to others and 44% would use the company more frequently.

This shows the impact that offering quality customer service can have. More emphasis needs to be placed on improving the customer experience across all channels; whether in-person, on the phone, online, or using social media.

Customers need to be treated as individuals, but for this to work we need to see a joined up approach across multiple-channels. For instance, when a customer complains about a brand via Twitter, the person responsible for dealing with that complaint needs to be able to see the full picture – the conversation history, who has previously dealt with them, any other conversations that have taken place, and so on.

Research from last year showed that budgets for Marketing and Advertising totalled $500 billion, whilst Social CRM budgets were $50 billion and Customer Service was a lowly $9 billion. I hope this is something we will see changing in the coming months and years, otherwise many brands will sink into irrelevance as the voice of the customer grows ever stronger.

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