Some 76 percent of consumers in Great Britain will stop doing business with an organisation following a bad customer experience.
Businesses need to take action immediately with this figure up from 65 percent in 2005.
That’s according to the Customer Experience Impact Report from Harris Interactive and launched to co-incide with National Customer Service Week, taking place this week.
The report reveals that levels of service offered by U.K Plc's still have some way to improve before winning the hearts and minds of consumers.
In fact, 51 percent of adults indicate that they have never had a phone-based customer service experience that exceeded their expectations.
On the plus-side, for companies getting customer service right, the survey shows that service can be a significant differentiator with 41 percent of consumers citing "outstanding service" as a top reason why they have given more business to an organisation.
Another 52 percent noted "outstanding service" as the top reason they would recommend a company.
General Manager of EMEA, RightNow, Joe Brown, said, "Today, the success of every business depends on good customer experiences.
"Consumers are much more attuned to what is, and what isn't, acceptable behaviour when they interact with organisations.”
He added. “With the proliferation of social media and e-commerce, along with the power of consumer recommendations, there's a clear message for organisations of all shapes and sizes: if you can't make it easy and satisfying for people to do business with you, you'll lose them to someone who does-and quickly."
Based on the survey findings, it seems that organisations are perpetuating customer frustrations and inciting negative sentiment, with ineffective use of technology.
For instance, both the 2005 and 2007 reports revealed that 69 percent of adults found waiting on hold to be the most annoying characteristic when contacting an organisation.
From an industry perspective, the top three sectors Britons find the most exasperating to deal with during customer service interactions remain unchanged from the fourth quarter of 2005. Respondents indicated that telecommunication companies are the main culprits, followed by the public sector and financial institutions.
The report also uncovered regional differences in how consumers engage with companies and react to various customer experiences.
For example, compared to their counterparts across Great Britain:
* People living in the North East are more likely to swear, shout, or get a headache after a bad customer experience
* Adults in Yorkshire are more likely to remove their business due to a poor customer experience
* The Scots are more likely to register a complaint or tell others about their bad customer experience
* The Welsh are most likely to cry after a bad customer experience
* Londoners are most likely to post a blog entry or online review after a bad customer experience
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