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Customers flee from poor digital service

Companies are losing customers because of poor technology-based customer service, according to a report by Accenture.

Half of UK customers do not think that recent technological advances in customer service have improved service, and more than two-thirds have switched provider in at least one industry over the past year as a result.

A survey by Accenture of 5,000 consumers found around 60% are unhappy with the service they receive. Part of the solution, the company said, is to improve service via better technology-based services.

At the moment, only 39% of customers are satisfied with online chat and 28% are satisfied with self service. Interactive voice response systems (IVRs) are particularly unpopular, with only 8% of customers saying they are happy with the service provided.

Neil Miller, head of customer relationship management at Accenture UK & Ireland, said, "Understanding the expectations your brand creates with consumers, and how to meet these expectations efficiently across service channels, is vital to capturing reward rather than defection from the customer. While in-person and phone channel satisfaction rank the highest in the UK, organisations should focus on their digital channel service capabilities which are not yet impressing UK consumers."

Customer service quality is one of the biggest factors consumers consider when choosing a service provider. Miller said that those who get it right will benefit from higher customer retention - especially important during an economic downturn.


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