NEWS2 September 2014

Brand loyalty affected by poor phone service

News UK

UK — Financial services brands are failing to achieve an adequate level of customer service on the telephone with more than two thirds ( 68%) of people claiming to have had poor phone experiences according to new research.


Despite telephone customer service being an established element of brands’ marketing mix, many are still getting it wrong and risking losing customers as a result.

Research from brand and comms agency, Smith & Milton, among 1,000 UK consumers asking about their experiences with financial services brands, found that the telephone remains a key customer service channel. But it found that 36% of respondents would definitely consider changing company after a poor phone experience while 55% said they might.

When asked to rank how much a poor phone experience tends to affects their impression of a brand on a scale of 1 to 5 – with ‘5’ being a lot and ‘1’ being not at all – 71% of consumers chose 4 or 5.

And there is scepticism among some consumers as to whether financial services brands listen to their complaints about poor phone experiences. Forty per cent didn’t think the brands listened to their complaints compared with 39% who thought they did.

Ben Mott, client services director at Smith & Milton, said: “It might be one of the oldest customer services channels available, but these statistics reveal just how significant a touch point the phone is to UK consumers – and one which is currently being overlooked by financial services brands. When it comes to finding a financial services brand, reassurance and the perception of competence are unsurprisingly vital factors in instilling loyalty. If brands can’t communicate these via telephone, consumers won’t hesitate to switch provider.”