Knowing how tough the current economic climate is here in the UK, we were surprised to see just how much poor customer service is costing UK businesses…

New independent research commissioned by NewVoiceMedia reveals that UK companies deemed to offer poor customer service are losing £12 billion a year, as half of those surveyed have taken their business elsewhere as a result of inadequate service.

Worse still, many consumers believe that the process of resolving issues is so cumbersome that they don’t even attempt to make contact. This should serve as a wake-up call – half of a company’s customers could literally disappear overnight and they wouldn’t even know why!

However, the research proves that if an organisation gets it right, customers will spend more and remain loyal. Companies could therefore significantly increase their business if they were to invest in providing a positive customer experience.

Voice is still the first channel of choice, and there are simple steps that an organisation can take to get it right. Don’t leave customers on hold, resolve issues quickly and integrate your telephony with a cloud CRM system to provide a personalised service.

The findings around social media were of particular interest. Although not significant in volume today, they clearly demonstrate the generational importance of the channel – and that it’s likely to explode in relevance as Gen Y consumers’ spending power increases.

For businesses to remain relevant, they have to change the relationship that they have with customers – treating them as individuals, understanding their buying patterns, likes and dislikes, and the overall experience they have with your company. Companies need to harness the power of cloud technology to allow them to provide that level of personalised customer service.

It is clear from the research that great customer service is a key differentiator and helps companies retain existing customers and attract new business.

Our research report is now available for free download here.