New study highlights the unforgiving nature of today's customer – and also shows that most are willing to pay more for a better customer experience

New research shows that British adults are impatient when it comes to poor customer experiences. In an online survey of 2,023 British adults conducted for  RightNow by Harris Interactive, 90 percent of people who stop doing business with an organisation due to a poor customer experience have gone on to buy from a competitive company. 36 percent state they will give a company less than one week to resolve customer service issues before taking their business elsewhere. 


Online forums are rapidly becoming a venting ground for consumers – 21 percent of online British adults  said they went on to post negative comments on a social networking site to express frustration after a poor customer experience. The vast majority of businesses however are failing to respond with 71 percent stating they have never received any kind of response.


According to the research, British businesses do have the opportunity to gain customer favour by incorporating social networking channels into their customer response strategies. Of the 118 online respondents who received a response to their negative posts from an organisation, 17 percent of those surveyed stated that, despite making a negative comment after a poor customer experience, they went on to post a positive comment following an appropriate response from the company, and 13 percent said they deleted their original post.  The survey also showed that if issues are resolved appropriately 10 percent go on to become loyal customers. 


The overriding good news for businesses is that 83 percent of British adults surveyed said that they are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. Among those:

  • 87 percent of those stated they were willing to pay 5 percent or more

  • 53 percent were willing to pay 10 percent or more

  • 22 percent were willing to pay 15 percent or more

  • 18 percent were willing to pay 20 percent or more


Ian Tickle, VP of EMEA for RightNow says "Consumers are more canny than ever when it comes to customer experiences. Get it right and customers will pay more and remain loyal – get it wrong and the clock is ticking while they are busy finding another company to spend their money with. In order for businesses to remain relevant they have to be able to respond quickly with a consistent and personal touch whether that be by phone, email, chat, web or social networking environments." 


Based on the survey results RightNow provides six key recommendations for excellent customer experiences: 

  • Pick up the phone! 56 percent noted that their expectations were not met because the company was unavailable; they didn't pick up the phone or answer email.

  • Shake a leg! 58 percent said the company was slow to resolve their issues.

  • Get clued up! 54 percent said the company was clueless, it sometimes felt like the consumer knew more about the company than the agent.

  • Be friendly! 48 percent surveyed said the company was impersonal; sometimes the agent couldn't even get their customer's name right.

  • Provide the personal touch! 27 percent said the company was forgetful, they didn't remember the consumer even if they had recently talked to an agent.

  • Get social! 8% said the company was anti-social; they were nowhere to be found on social networking sites. 


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