Poor Customer Service is Eroding Customer Loyalty to Retail Brands
Complaints from “Under 35” Age Group are Taken Less Seriously, Resulting in Younger Consumers Shopping Around
GLASGOW, August 18, 2014 – New research commissioned by customer service specialists KANA® Software, A Verint® Company (NASDAQ: VRNT), suggests poor customer service is eroding consumer loyalty and confidence in retail brands.
Nearly one-third of U.K. consumers (30 percent) have become less loyal to retail brands in the past five years, according to a survey of 2,000 consumers carried out by Vision Critical on behalf of KANA. One-quarter of those customers identified poor service as the main reason for this decreased loyalty.
One major issue for customers was the number of times they had to repeat their complaint to different people within the same company. Almost half of respondents (48 percent) said they had to repeat information during their last communication with a retailer.
All age groups identified repetition as a problem; however, it occurs most frequently for customers under the age of 35—with one in 20 repeating themselves at least five times. Only 30 percent of these younger customers had their issue resolved after one interaction. By contrast, 64 percent of customers over the age of 65 did not have to repeat their complaint at all, feeling satisfied after first contact.
This apparent disparity between levels of service has the potential to drive younger consumers elsewhere. Of those who feel less loyal to retail brands, 37 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds cite service as the key factor versus just 20 percent of those aged 65 and older.
“By forcing consumers to repeat themselves, often several times over a prolonged period, organisations not only deliver inefficient service that costs them money—they seriously affect future consumer loyalty,” says Steven Thurlow, head of worldwide product strategy for KANA. “The need for repetition shows not only poor management of customer data, channels and context, but more fundamentally a lack of ownership of the consumer’s problem and lack of appreciation for their effort levels.”
“The younger generation has higher expectations of digital channels, collaborative and social communications and asks ‘how hard can it be.’ They won’t take seriously an organisation that is unable to do the basics right, and these expectations are rising all the time,” Thurlow continues.
In the past six months, more than one-in-10 adults polled have used at least five different customer channels to contact a retailer. This research supports other studies from KANA showing that U.K. consumers regularly use multiple different channels of contact. Web-based chat, email and face-to-face in store came out as the most popular choices for customer engagement with preference varying between age groups.
“When you have an issue, you want to speak to someone who knows your back history and is able to take action on your behalf. Repetition causes frustration and makes customers feel devalued or, worse, completely ignored. Without a true sense that different channels of communication are linked, people feel that they are wasting their time and, ultimately, this leads to an erosion of loyalty in the retail brand,” Thurlow adds.
About the Research
Vision Critical conducted an online survey among 2,006 randomly selected British adults aged 18-80 in June 2014. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current age, gender, region data and newspaper readership data to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain.
KANA®, A Verint® Company, is a leading provider of cloud and on-premises customer service solutions. KANA helps global organizations—including many of the Fortune 500, mid-market businesses and public sector agencies—optimize their engagements with consistent and contextual customer journeys across agent, web, social and mobile experiences. Using KANA solutions, organizations can reduce operational costs, increase resolution rates and improve brand loyalty. Learn more at www.kana.com.
About Verint Systems Inc.
Verint® (NASDAQ: VRNT) is a global leader in Actionable Intelligence® solutions. Actionable Intelligence is a necessity in a dynamic world of massive information growth because it empowers organizations with crucial insights and enables decision makers to anticipate, respond and take action. Verint Actionable Intelligence solutions help organizations address three important challenges: customer engagement optimization; security intelligence; and fraud, risk, and compliance. Today, more than 10,000 organizations in over 180 countries, including over 80 percent of the Fortune 100, use Verint solutions to improve enterprise performance and make the world a safer place. Learn more at www.verint.com.