UK shoppers demand good service

07 February 2012

LONDON: A majority of consumers in the UK will switch to a new brand or company if they are disappointed with the customer service they receive, a poll has revealed.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the auto services provider, surveyed 2,000 adults, and found that 62% would not do business with a firm again if their expectations were not met.

Mike Nigro, UK managing director of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: "The British public are no longer tolerant of poor service and quite rightly will vote with their feet.

"Nowadays we have a 'one chance high street' - if you don't provide great service from the very beginning, you won't get a second opportunity."

More specifically, 84% of contributors agreed that "helpful and responsive employees" were a crucial element of engaging with a brand owner, standing at 75% for quickly sorting out problems.

Another 65% emphasised dealing with company representatives who know their products and could offer useful advice.

The most negative traits identified by the panel were "rude and unfriendly employees" on 46%, rising to 49% of women versus 40% of men, and being slow to resolve problems on 33%.

Some 49% of people over the age of 50 years old "always complain" when they receive poor service, decreasing to 18% for 16–24 year olds, the study added.

Elsewhere, 68% of over-55 year olds are likely to choose a retailer based on a previous good experience, dropping to 53% for 25–34 year olds.

A 54% share of women often picked a retailer because of their reputation and brand name, compared with 46% of men.

Similarly, 57% of female customers valued a "pleasant shopping experience", as did a more modest 45% of their male counterparts.

However, whereas a third of men were "irritated" by companies that failed to meet their promises, scores here declined to 12% for women.

Overall, 37% of female buyers thought customer service had got worse during the last decade, falling to 30% of men. These totals stood at 18% and 26% in turn for those citing an improvement in this area.

Data sourced from Enterprise Rent-A-Car; additional content by Warc staff