UK Businesses are potentially missing out on millions of pounds (revenue) every year by failing to fight for customers who are considering switching supplier...
Our latest consumer research discovered that many companies are missing a trick by failing to empathise and react when a customer contacts them to say they are thinking about switching supplier. 40% of customers revealed that their supplier made no effort to retain their business and let them leave without putting up a fight.
But, given that 14% of consumers were convinced in the last year to remain with a business when they were considering switching, businesses must put more effort into effective customer retention strategies, as the rewards are clearly there for those that do.
"Consumers also hit out against the poor customer service they experienced during the switching process, including lags in service and delays in credit payments from previous suppliers."
Our research also revealed the main frustrations consumers experience when they switch, with the top four being:
- Poor customer service (31%)
- Supplier transparency (28%)
- Suppliers making errors/mistakes (19%)
- Unexpected delays to the switching process (17%)
In fact, only 50% of consumers who had switched a service provider last year, described the switching process as smooth and simple. The remainder described it as less than perfect with one in ten consumers telling us it was difficult and frustrating.
"It appears that for many businesses, when a customer contacts them to say they are thinking of levaing, they are failing to empathise and retain their custom. This could be a costly mistake as clearly a significant number of consumers have been convinced to stay with the right retention efforts."
Chris Cullen, head of sales and marketing, Echo Managed Services
Of course, for some, this attention could come too late. Understanding customer needs, rewarding loyalty and taking a proactive, tailored approach to retention may benefit in reduced customer losses, but there is a balance to be made to ensure unwanted contact does not cause further frustration.
In addition, businesses that switch off to customer needs during the switching process may risk losing that customer forever, when actually there is every chance they may come back at a later date; not impossible considering most consumers review service providers annually.
Businesses should focus on attempting to satisfy and keep hold of customers at every stage of the relationship. However, for those that can't be retained and do choose to leave, ensuring the switching process is as smooth as possible will help to leave customers with a good final impression.
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