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Study Shows Telecom Industry Losing Consumers Due to Poor Customer Service

September 28, 2009

When dealing with companies and clients, exceptional customer service is what tends to solidify a sale, make a business deal or score a contract. 

Without the good sense and know-how to produce the correct forms of customer service, customers opting to use a company’s products may not want to invest their time and money into a product where they don’t feel completely appreciated and welcomed. 

And, in the United Kingdom, it seems as though the lack of good customer service in the telecommunications industry is leading to people withdrawing from purchases and contracts. 

According to a new national survey titled, “The Cost of Poor Customer Service: The Economic Impact of the Customer Experience,” by Genesys (News - Alert) Telecommunication Laboratory, roughly 73 percent of customers ended a relationship in the United Kingdom due to a poor customer service experience.

While surveying over 514 customers based in the United Kingdom, Genesys also found that it’s the younger generation of customers that are more likely to leave their service providers behind, versus older customers who are more set in their service provider ways.

The study reported that the average value of each lost relationship is £248, or about $394, per year, for a total of £15.3 billion, or $24.3 billion, a major figure in today’s unstable economic times. 

Daniel Hong, lead analyst of Customer Interaction at Ovum (News - Alert), said that the rise of social media and increased consumer awareness, the cost of customer frustration continues to grow.

“The difference between delivering exceptional customer service and merely providing acceptable service is pronounced,” Hong said. “Differentiating on service, especially in service-centric industries such as finance and telecommunications, is how enterprises can retain customers in today's challenging business climate.”

Roughly 39 percent of U.K. consumers said that it is critical for companies to provide more intelligent self-service so they are not trapped in unproductive automated systems. 

Therefore, customers – especially the younger demographic – prefer speaking to a live customer representative, and a friendly one at that, when calling for a service issue or question.

And, with 83 percent of consumers welcoming a more proactive engagement approach as a way to improve their experiences, companies need to perfect their customer service operations to a virtual flawless system.

According to the data, consumer satisfaction increases when companies meet four key needs: competency, convenience, proactive engagement and personalization. 

Keith Pearce, senior director of EMEA Marketing at Genesys, said that most businesses understand that turning the customer experience into an emotional engagement adds value to their bran and results in consumers who are more loyal and satisfied. 

With the goal of customer service being to please customers and satisfy their needs, the opportunities for delivering good service to a company’s customer base are endless.

One way to increase customer service and deliver results to both an organization and its customers would be to attend and register for Parature’s (News - Alert) free webinar titled, “How Zappos Built a Billion Dollar Company through a Customer Focused Culture,” on Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 2:00 p.m., where companies can learn  how to boost customer loyalty through improved customer service. 
 

Kelly McGuire is a TMCnet Editor. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Kelly McGuire

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