According to a new online satisfaction report released yesterday, more than half of the consumers surveyed have ceased buying products and services from a company due to poor customer service and a high number felt that the supplier didn’t know it had lost their business.
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In fact, only half of the companies aware of the loss of business had attempted to win the business back, the survey found, with the worst offenders being telcos, ISPs and online retailers.
Prepared by StollzNow Research and commissioned by RightNow Technologies, a provider of on demand customer relationship management (CRM) software solutions, the report’s findings are proof that the impact of a poor customer experience can directly affect a company’s bottom line.
According to Neil Stolznow, head of StollzNow Research, the report proves that “Australian companies devote far too much time to customer acquisition and nowhere near enough time in customer retention”.
Furthermore he says that the “long term brand health of companies was at stake” if they didn’t become more customer-responsive.
Despite the high cost of customer acquisition relative to customer retention, organisations appear to be content with a proportion of customer churn based on poor customer experiences. Two-thirds of respondents in Australia and New Zealand said they had experienced poor customer service at some time during their relationship with companies in one of the seven targeted industries.
The telecommunications industry was the worst offender with 62 per cent of respondents indicating they had experienced poor service. Next were ISPs with 52 per cent followed by finance (46 per cent), travel and hospitality (31 per cent), online retail (30 per cent), and insurance and utilities (28 per cent).
A high proportion of respondents (65 per cent) indicated they had stopped doing business with a telecommunications provider due to poor customer service, and 44 per cent believed their provider hadn’t realised they were no longer a customer.
The survey also investigated consumer opinion about experiences when shopping online.
Consumers were asked what they found to be the most frustrating aspects of the experience. Areas for improvement included transparency about delivery charges before reaching the ‘check out’ as well as better information about products and the ability to ask questions during the purchasing process.
All of these areas of frustration are solvable with technology readily available today, said Stolznow.