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Two strikes and you’re out – UK less tolerant of poor customer services than three years ago

Two Strikes And Youôçöre Out (1)

Almost half (44 percent) of UK consumers are less tolerant of poor customer service than they were three years ago, according to new research from ContactEngine, specialists in helping businesses improve their customers’ journey.

  • Scottish consumers are the least tolerant
  • Research reveals how businesses annoy customers & lose them for good

The research was carried out by YouGov and polled more than 2,000 UK consumers.  It found that more than half (56 percent) would never use a company again after just two bad experiences. Almost four-fifths (79 percent) would give companies no more than three chances.

Within the home nations, Scottish consumers are the least tolerant. More than half of Scots (52 percent) claim to be less tolerant of poor customer service than three years ago, and 58 would only give a company up to two chances. Overall, only 6 percent of Brits considered themselves to be more tolerant.

When asked what annoys them the most about a company, consumers unanimously agreed on three things:

  1. Rude or incompetent staff

  2. Having to repeat queries after being passed between different people or departments.

  3. Taking the day off for an expected delivery – only for it not to arrive.

Retired consumers are the least tolerant of poor customer service.  One in four (25 percent) would tolerate just one poor experience before never using them again, while 40 percent would give only two chances. More than half (51 percent) of retired consumers also admit being less tolerant than three years ago.

“This research provides fascinating insight into the challenges facing businesses,” said Dr. Mark K. Smith, CEO of ContactEngine. “ContactEngine is at the vanguard of growing consumer demand for consistent, high-quality service across all communications platforms. Organisations need to re-think how they engage with customers – give them a couple of bad experiences and you’ve potentially lost a loyal customer for good.  The trick is to be able to account for all possibilities, something that most businesses tend to ignore.”

Perhaps unsurprisingly, households with three or more children are also very intolerant of poor customer service: 26 percent would only give a company one chance.


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