New research from NewVoiceMedia, reveals 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: feeling unappreciated (36 percent), not being able to speak to a person (26 percent) and being passed around to multiple agents (25 percent). Seven percent 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.
Calling out the contact centres
35 percent indicated emailing as their preferred method of communication with a business, with nearly half (48 percent) considering calls to be the quickest way of resolving an issue. However, consumers flagged being kept on hold as the top reason (34 percent) they dislike calling companies.
Consequently, only 16 percent suggested calls were the most effective way of resolving an issue. Social media was touted as equally effective in settling customer service issues (16 percent), followed by email (12 percent).
How customers respond
Faced with poor customer service, 41 percent would write a complaint email/letter, 31 percent would never use the offending company again, 29 percent would change suppliers, a fifth would post an online review and a further 20 percent would complain publicly via social media. Only 15 percent would take no action.
On the contrary, if provided with good service, respondents would be more loyal (55 percent), recommend the company to others (47 percent) and use the business more frequently (26 percent).
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 percent). 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.
“In today’s Age of the Customer, personal, emotive customer interactions play a critical role in bridging the gap for what disruption and digital innovation alone cannot solve. For brands to compete – and win – in CX in 2018 and beyond, service leaders must ensure their teams optimise processes and communication in ways that create positive emotional experiences for customers”.
Martin Hill-Wilson, customer engagement strategist and founder of Brainfood, said, “Emotive customer experience recognises that our decisions are driven by deep seated motivations: the things that really matter to us in terms of identity and personal fulfilment. Tap into these, and customers become more valuable in every respect: from advocacy to lifetime spend”.
For further information, download the research whitepaper at www.newvoicemedia.com.
 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.
 Omni-Channel Customer Care, Aberdeen Group