Consumers left frustrated as customer service is neglected by companies – Nearly half (42%) of Brits don’t feel that customer service is a widespread business priority, according to new research from leading provider of outsourced customer service, FM Outsource.
In its Make Every Conversation Count report, a quarter (24%) of people felt that the general standard of customer service has declined in recent years. Respondents were most critical of the travel industry’s customer service offering, with 32% saying they have witnessed a decline, closely followed by utilities (31%).
When asked about the reason for this, 38% said that they believe companies take their customers for granted, suggesting that consumers largely place the blame for poor customer service with the business itself, not with individual agents that they have interacted with.
Even after a poor interaction with a contact centre agent, 60% of consumers recognise a bigger picture: that it was a result of poor employee training. Only a third (33%) blame the decline in customer service on the poor attitude of individual customer service agents.
There is a clear link between company image and customer service quality, with 86% of people stating that a customer service conversation had negatively affected their relationship with a brand or business.
Kirsty Robinson, Head of Marketing at FM Outsource, said:
“Businesses’ reputations are on the line with every customer service interaction. Just one poor experience can mean the loss of any repeat business and undermine the marketing efforts intended to win the customer in the first place.
“Agents, whether internal employees or outsourced, must be treated as integral members of the workforce, whose engagement and loyalty are not overlooked. Our research clearly shows that failing to do so will reflect badly on the entire business.
“Customer service acts as the face of a brand and as such must show genuine empathy towards customer issues. The ease and speed of communication and how customers are spoken to and treated by advisors, helps them to decide whether that company values their loyalty and repeat business.
“With the increase of review platforms and social media there is increased visibility of customers’ frustrations and customer service shortcomings and your consumers are well aware of that.
“Nowadays, one bad experience can very quickly have a negative, irreversible impact on brand reputation. This is something that brands need to consider carefully. The customer experience cannot be undervalued.”
FM Outsource provides tech-led, high-quality customer care for some of the UK’s top companies. Not just a contact centre, FM Outsource use decades of expertise to help clients transform their businesses by boosting efficiency, fostering brand reputation, and providing first-class customer service.
For additional information on FM Outsource visit their Website