When it comes to a bad brand interaction, Brits are more likely to vote with their feet when they are unhappy, with one in two insisting they follow the two strikes and out rule before they jump ship.
However, all is not lost as nearly two-thirds (64%) claim a good customer call experience would make them brand advocates, making the short call centre interaction even more crucial to brand loyalty, according to new online research from global cloud communications platform Infobip.
The research, which polled 2,000 UK adults aged 18 and above, aimed to find out the motivations and avenues which British consumers are complaining. They include:
Per my last email: Almost half (45%) of Brits say they prefer using email to lodge complaints; with a similar proportion (48%) citing convenience.
Please leave a message after the tone: Of the 17% who said they preferred call centres, unsurprisingly Gen Zs (18- to 24-year-olds) came in last at only 10%, and it is those aged 25 to 34 and over 65 that came in tops at 20% and 21% respectively. Infobip reckons this suggests that while millennials are commonly known to steer clear from making phone calls, younger customers will do so to get their problems fixed.
Poor service, product and delivery delays the biggest gripes: 33% say poor service was the main complaint motivator, followed by poor product (27%) and delivery delays (28%).
Retailers are repeat offenders: Two-fifths (44%) said they complained about the retail sector, ahead of food delivery companies (19%) and utilities (16%).
Despite the motivations behind and methods of the complaints, the findings also show that brands still have the chance to turn an unpleasant experience into a positive one, and even convert customers into brand advocates with a positive customer service experience, including:
Don’t show me the money: One in three said speaking to an agent who empathises with their problems (33%) helps improve the overall complaint experience, more so than receiving monetary compensation (17%), which suggests that people do not want money thrown at the problem.
There is no time to waste: Four in five say that call centre workers who can address their issues (44%) and quickly answer their queries (40%) make the unpleasant complaint experience better.
Infobip country manager for UK & Ireland James Stokes said: “Regardless of the preferred method of complaining, brands only have a short timeframe to turn irate customers into brand advocates. Making customers happy is no longer a ‘good to have’. With customers showing willingness to vote with their feet, good customer service is crucial to businesses’ overall bottom line.”
CDP take-up soars but so does consumer data deletion
Tech obsessed firms ‘out of touch’ with their customers
Not a lot like a bot as human touch still rules OK
Never mind great resignation, customer exodus is worse
Brands warned that they can’t rely on loyalty any more
Brands are urged to build ‘communities’ to foster loyalty