LONDON: A majority of consumers in the UK are still focused on value, but for many this now means more than simply buying low cost products.
Convergys, the customer relationship management specialist, surveyed 1,616 adults and found that 64% thought "good value for money" was essential in shaping their choice of goods and services.
Within this, however, definitions of what constitutes "value" varied greatly, ranging from 30% of people who viewed it in terms of reliable service to 5% who emphasised "paying the lowest price".
A further 60% of the sample stated that they typically favoured brand owners which "treat me like a valued customer".
Elsewhere, 65% of the panel said that one of the most important qualities they looked for when making purchases was a company which "addresses my needs on first contact".
The rewards for delivering on this expectation included generating positive word of mouth, as 72% of contributors regularly recommended their preferred brands to friends and colleagues.
Moreover, 42% of individuals featured in the poll agreed they would make more frequent purchases of these items or take part in relevant loyalty schemes.
Some 35% displayed a willingness to provide suggestions to help improve products, while 28% would not buy a rival brand and 19% would "forgive one bad experience."
In terms of customer service, 35% of shoppers had communicated with a company via text message, while 22% had done so using social media and 8% through a smartphone application.
Almost half of consumers who had a negative experience with a brand argued they would not trade with the manufacturer concerned again.
An 85% majority of respondents in this group also reported that they told their friends and workmates about their disappointment in this area, spreading this critical feedback both online and offline.
"Today's consumer expectations are clear. They expect good value for their money and timely acknowledgement and resolution of their issues," said Jim Boyce, president of global sales and services at Convergys.
"It is more apparent than ever that consumers are willing to take their business elsewhere when their needs are not met."
Data sourced from Convergys; additional content by Warc staff