Poor customer service to cost UK businesses an estimated £1.9bn over the festive period
- 78% of UK consumers have needed customer service more during the pandemic and a third (32%) feel it has worsened in this time period
- Half of Brits (50%) are planning to avoid businesses with bad customer service this Christmas
- Businesses that provide a negative experience lose out on £58 per customer
- Over the festive break this is estimated to total a whopping £1.9 billion
New research predicts that UK businesses can expect to receive 189 million phone calls, 193 million emails, 170 tweets, and 160 million letters this Christmas as consumers ask for support. The study by Signavio finds that a third (35%) of consumers are predicting they’ll need to use customer service more than usual over the festive break.
The financial implications for business are clear as nearly four in five (78%) consumers will change their buying intentions based on customer service. Half (50%) of Brits are avoiding businesses with bad service this Christmas and the average loss from a bad experience is £58 per customer. This could total an estimated £1.9bn across the festive break. The good news, however, is that half (50%) of consumers are more likely to spend money with a company after a positive customer service experience.
Christmas is exacerbating a trend that’s grown during lockdown.
The research finds that more than three quarters (78%) of consumers have needed customer service more during the pandemic and a third (32%) of UK consumers feel it has worsened in this time period. The top frustrations are: speaking to different people who don’t understand the situation, repeating information, slow response times and confusing online processes. In fact, one in five (19%) of consumers stopped using a business or service as a result of poor customer service during lockdown. According to the data, the worst culprits are utilities, retail and the public sector organisations.
Gero Decker, CEO of Signavio, comments: “Frustrations with customer service have intensified during lockdown. The double-whammy of many businesses furloughing staff and more consumers contacting customer service, businesses are straining under the pressure. With a surge in complaints over Christmas, the situation could be at breaking point. Companies could cause irreversible damage to their reputation.
“Businesses need to look at the common frustrations with their customer service process and address them quickly. For companies that don’t change, consumers will simply protest with their wallets. With one in five consumers taking their business elsewhere, businesses with a poor experience could see revenues drop by the same amount. Customer service is not just a cost for businesses — good processes can win or lose customers and their hard-earned cash.”