A large majority of UK consumers would leave a brand they are loyal to after just two or three bad customer service experiences, according to Emplifi research.
The survey of 1,035 UK social media users aged 16-55, which was conducted by Harris Interactive, found that 90% of consumers would not accept any more than three bad experiences from a brand. Interestingly, 20% of respondents said they would leave after just one brand experience, while 45% admitted they had already left a brand in the past year over a single poor customer service experience.
“Our latest research confirms what we had already suspected – there’s a major disconnect between what UK consumers expect and what brands are delivering in terms of CX,” said Emplifi CXO Shellie Vornhagen. “British consumers are in a state of choice-overload, and have too many options to stick around after a poor customer experience. So, delivering anything less than exceptional experiences can have a massive impact on a brand’s bottom line.”
The leading factor in a brand delivering a negative experience is having a slow response time, with 42% of consumers viewing this as a problem. 53% of respondents expect brands to respond to inquiries via digital channels within an hour, and 8% expect a response in just five minutes.
Other contributing factors to poor customer experience include a lack of 24/7 customer service support (19%), and brands not sharing the consumer’s values (18%). On the latter, 36% of UK consumers are willing to leave a brand over a lack of social responsibility.
When it comes to where consumers want to have support from a brand, 22% of consumers prefer email communications, while 20% like to communicate with brands through social media. In fact, 37% view ‘excellent’ social media customer service as being very important when making a purchase. Meanwhile, 18% would still like to visit a physical store for support.
The research also found that 56% of consumers would be willing to pay a premium price if it meant them receiving an ‘outstanding’ customer experience. Moreover, 30% of respondents believe it’s important for brands to have a fully self-service customer care option available.
“The good news is that the technology needed to close this customer experience gap is readily available – from automated systems that quickly filter incoming queries to the relevant customer services team, to virtual assistants that can provide personalised responses with incredible speed and consistency. Brands that invest in superior CX platforms will outperform the competition every time,” added Vornhagen.