UK Companies Face Boycotts for Slow Customer Service

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Research reveals over half (56%) of Brits would stop shopping with a brand if they experienced slow customer service. That is according to 8×8, a leading cloud provider of voice, video, chat and contact centre solutions for over one million users worldwide, who recently commissioned a survey of 2,000 adults in the UK.

“It’s clear that customers have little patience for slow service and, when frustrated, won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere. ”

This is a widespread issue – nearly two-thirds (64%) of people have been frustrated at the length of time it has taken a customer service team at a company to solve a problem.

The time it takes to reach someone is the most common reason customers lose patience with a customer service team (36%) followed by having to wait to get their query resolved (30%). Easy access to contact information is also a key factor, as a quarter (25%) have lost patience by having to wade through too many screening questions in order to access contact information.

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When asked about the types of businesses they are most likely to lose patience with, customers named utilities and telecom firms in the top spot (33%), followed by retail (24%), and local Government (21%). This suggests that organisations in these sectors are at the greatest risk of losing customers to slow service.

To help them get an answer quickly and easily, 78% of consumers expect companies to provide access to their customer service team via multiple channels, such as phone, email, webchat, and social media. Despite this, it is still common for companies to only offer a single communications channel for customers to contact them on. One in five customers (19%) have dealt with a company that only offered a phone number, and 11% encountered webchat-only.

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Mary Ellen Genovese, Managing Director of European Operations, 8×8, said: “It’s clear that customers have little patience for slow service and, when frustrated, won’t hesitate to take their business elsewhere.

“This isn’t just over established channels such as phone and email, but across webchat and social media too. By using the latest technology to bring all communications channels into one platform, companies can ensure customer queries are resolved quickly, and in one interaction – whether that’s using analytics to pinpoint bottlenecks, or allowing agents to collaborate instantly with the right experts internally to get answers for customers.”

The research also reveals that customers expect traditional channels to deliver a faster response rate than online options. When asked which customer service platforms they lose patience with the most, 37% said phone, compared to just 12% for email and 10% for live chat.

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