Good service pays in UK

15 July 2011

LONDON: Consumers in the UK would pay a 10% price premium in return for receiving excellent customer service, a study has revealed.

American Express, the financial services provider, surveyed 1,000 adults in the country, and found that 30% believe companies are currently "taking their custom for granted."

By contrast, just 2% of participants featured in the analysis thought firms were exceeding their expectations in this area.

Moreover, 78% of respondents had previously decided against making an intended purchase as a result of a poor experience.

Improving ratings here could, in fact, yield major benefits, as 68% of interviewees would be willing to pay a premium in exchange for enjoying good service.

On average, contributors pegged the exact figure at an additional 10%, while 8% considered it worth a 20% supplement.

"At a time when household finances remain tight, consumers are looking for organisations that go the extra mile," Ian Lundberg, SVP, world service at American Express, said.

"Whether buying the weekly shop, splashing out on an annual holiday or managing their daily finances, it's important customers understand that not only do we value their custom, but that they feel they are valued and not taken for granted."

Elsewhere, the study showed 82% of shoppers agreed small businesses typically place a greater emphasis on such matters than larger equivalents.

The attribute perceived to be most important when it comes to having problems resolved is dealing with a "friendly representative who listens to their concerns", mentioned by 59% of the panel.

Another 57% referenced talking with someone who was ultimately able to "solve their issue".

"For the most part consumers appreciate that, although annoying, sometimes mistakes happen and that companies are not infallible," Lundberg said.

"However, it is how they deal with resolving an issue after the event that leaves a lasting impression on how they are viewed by the customer."

Data sourced from American Express; additional content by Warc staff