Would poor customer service motivate you enough to switch companies? Or have you switched already? Research commissioned by First Direct shows poor service is costing companies more than they may like…
When their people skills are not up to scratch, consumers like you and I are taking terrible revenge on the companies we deal with in our daily lives.
According to the First Direct research, inadequate service is costing companies £7.7bn a year in lost business.
The research says that banks are missing out on £2.3billion from savers switching accounts due to negative experiences. That’s enough money to buy 19,071 Porsches 911’s – the turbo model – which I’m reliably informed is the bankers’ car of choice.
So the message is clear – if you’re not happy with the customer service you receive, change things up. And if you’re a business owner, don’t take your customers for granted.
But switching may not always be an option. Perhaps unsurprisingly, HMRC was named in the survey as the worst organisation to deal with, 23% of respondents labelling them the most difficult. But that might just be because no-one likes paying their taxes.
In September 2014, we did our own research on calling HMRC and found the average time we had to wait to speak to an adviser was 18 minutes. On one call we had to wait for a lengthy 41 minutes!
What are the complaints?
How do your complaints stack up compared to everyone else’s? Our research in 2013 found the top customer service gripe was automated telephone systems, followed closely by being passed around to a lot of people. We asked you on Which? Convo to see if this matched up, and here are the results:
- Automated telephone systems (62%, 909 Votes)
- Long queues (41%, 600 Votes)
- Being passed around lots of people (35%, 507 Votes)
- Trying to sell you unwanted products (30%, 435 Votes)
- Annoying hold music (28%, 406 Votes)
- Receiving a standard response to problems (22%, 323 Votes)
- Lack of knowledge about products or services (16%, 240 Votes)
- Having to wait for help or a response (15%, 218 Votes)
- Rude staff (13%, 196 Votes)
- Staff talking to each other (9%, 130 Votes)
Good things come to those who play nice
It’s worth bearing in mind that no matter how annoyed you are it’s always best to remain civil. When airing your grievances the First Direct research shows up to 60% of the deals offered to dissuade you from switching go to those who remain polite.
So if you want those discounted fees and extra freebies – play nice. And if you’re still having trouble with a company, you may find the advice on how to complain on our Consumer Rights website useful.
So, would you switch due to poor service? And what are some of the best and worst examples of customer service you have had?