Poor customer service results in customers leaving


Unloved customers vote with their feet. Research amongst 2,000+ customers reveals nearly half of UK consumers ditched a business last year following poor customer service.

I’ve written about How to Respond to Consumer Complaints on Social Media as well as customer engagement success and this post was sent via NewVoiceMedia, who discovered that 42 percent of UK consumers left a business last year due to poor customer service. For millennials (those aged 25-34), this increased to 53 percent.


The survey, based on independent research among 2,011 adults from the United Kingdom, found that top reasons for leaving included:

  • 36% felt unappreciated
  • 26% were unhappy not being able to speak to a person
  • 25% were irritated when they were passed around to multiple agents
  • 7% had such low expectations of the customer experience that they didn’t even bother contacting support about their service issue before switching companies.


63 percent of respondents said that if they felt they’d made a positive emotional connection with a customer service agent, they’d be more likely to do business with that company again. However, on average, consumers felt emotional connections with just 13 percent of companies they’d done business with over the last year.


Survey undertaken by independent research company Opinion Matters from Jan. 31 to Feb. 6, 2018, with a sample size of 2,011 adults from the United Kingdom.


Calling out the contact centres

Email is more popular than calling the contact centre.

Email was their preferred method of communication with a business for 35%

And 48% considered calls to be the quickest way of resolving an issue. However, consumers flagged being kept on hold as the top reason (34%) they dislike calling companies.

Consequently, only 16% suggested calls were the most effective way of resolving an issue. Social media which is a growing method of dispute resolution was touted as equally effective in settling customer service issues by 16%, followed by email 12%.


How customers respond

Faced with poor customer service, what are the options? In this research

  • 41% would write a complaint email/letter
  • 31% would never use the offending company again
  • 29% would change suppliers
  • 20% would post an online review and a further
  • 20% would complain publicly via social media.


Only 15% would take no action.


On the contrary, if provided with good service, respondents would be more loyal (55%), recommend the company to others (47%) and use the business more frequently (26%).

In an era of empowered and ultra-connected consumers, being able to contact a company through any channel was rated as the top driver of feeling emotionally connected to a brand (31%). This supports research from the Aberdeen Group, which found that companies that excel in engaging customers across channels can retain nearly three times as much business as those without an omni-channel strategy.


“With revenue being transferred between companies at an alarming rate, this research shows how those that compete on the basis of customer delight can drive the acquisition, retention and efficiency that make leading businesses successful”, comments Dennis Fois, CEO of NewVoiceMedia.