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Indian consumers reject poor service

News, 02 December 2015

NEW DELHI: India consumers are much more likely than the global average to switch brands because of a poor experience a new study has said.

A report from consulting firm Accenture – Global Consumer Pulse Research: An Indian Perspective – found that 88% of respondents from India had switched companies in at least one industry as a result of bad service; this compared to a global figure of 64%, FirstPost reported.

"Switching customers represent a huge potential loss of revenue for companies that fail to retain them, and a huge opportunity for those that can attract them," the report noted. And it estimated the value of the switching economy in India to be worth $331bn.

Poor customer experience was the main reason for switching, cited by 59% of respondents, closely followed by a related area – a lack of knowledge among customer service representatives (53%).

Companies and brands are clearly failing to address these issues, as some 86% of those who had switched said that something could have been done to stop them. And just over half (56%) suggested that they could give companies another chance if it was made worth their while.

In fact, Accenture reported that one of the most "compelling" findings of its survey was that "customers are more loyal to experiences than to companies, products and brands".

And was borne out by their actions as seven in ten reported they were more likely to switch today than they were ten years ago.

Even if they don't actually switch, up to 68% indicated they reduced their level of business while 85% shared their negative experiences with others.

Accenture attributed this development to the rise of what it called "the non-stop consumer" – enabled by a multitude of digital touchpoints to compare a provider's promise with its delivery.

"Digital disruption is steadily eroding customer loyalty," it said, with just over one quarter of respondents feeling very loyal to their providers while a similar proportion said they were evaluating or considering other providers more often.

At the same time, however, 80% of Indian respondents, compared to 61% globally, agreed that increased use of technology had improved levels of service. And almost half (47%) said they were more likely to do business with those companies with which they can interact on social media.

Data sourced from FirstPost, Accenture; additional content by Warc staff