Reliable customers are a thing of the past

Channel NewsRetail

A new survey into customer service trends, indicates that the days of the loyal customer is over and resellers have their work cut out keeping customers.

A new survey into customer service trends, indicates that the days of the loyal customer is over and resellers in the retail channel have their work cut out for them.

The report commissioned by Kcom in association with the Customer Contact Association (CCA), shows that there is a significant shift in consumer behaviour.
Gone are the days when a customer would show loyalty to a brand or a particular retail outlet, and what has replaced them are price-hungry and informed savvy shoppers.
The survey has some hard facts for resellers, particularly in the retail market.
The report finds that price and quality are the top two reasons for choosing to return to a company, this is followed by customer service.
This tallies with a recent CCA member’s survey which reveals that 44 per cent of organisations feel customers are becoming less loyal, identifying a growing need for businesses to rethink the rules of customer engagement.
Nearly two-thirds of consumer respondents say that that they would be more willing to use an automated service if it guaranteed them a discount.
This is reflective of the growing trend of discount websites, such as Groupon and which are used by millions in order to seek out the best deal.
Yet just over half of businesses admit to not currently offering new or existing customers discount codes as an incentive.
Mark Pritchard, Business Development Director at Kcom said that discount-led era customers are more picky and price driven, because the market has allowed them to be so,
If resellers are selling identical products to that of your competition, the primary consumer driver will always be price.
He said that while customer service may not have come out top in the survey, it is still a deciding factor in why people choose one company over another.
“ If you offer a low price, but a customer is unhappy with customer service, they are unlikely to return. Companies need to decide which area they can best compete on, whilst also keeping in mind the other two,” Pritchard said,
When it comes to dealing with customer service, using automatic systems could be a good way to prevent a customer coming back.
Customers said that it was vital to be able to speak to a live person, followed by the first person knowing what they were talking about.
Pritchard said that consumers have high expectations when it comes to customer service, wanting to be able to contact a company in whatever way they choose and have their query resolved quickly by someone who has the knowledge to do so.
The report shows that Legacy systems should be joined up and contact centres armed with collaborative technologies; they will be better equipped to deal with customer queries quickly and efficiently, helping to improve customer retention.