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BizReport : Loyalty Marketing : August 25, 2014

Poor retail customer service decreasing loyalty

Customers are increasingly frustrated with customer service channels that are not integrated meaning they need to repeat themselves several times before their query is addressed.

by Helen Leggatt

It's not surprising that almost a third of UK consumers have become less loyal to retail brands over the last five years. While customer service channels have expanded to include mobile, social and online, few companies are set up to seamlessly integrate them all.

According to customer service specialists KANA Software, almost half (48%) of U.K. consumers had to repeat information when communicating with a retailer. Among customers under the age of 35, 1 in 20 said they had to repeat themselves at least five times.

"By forcing consumers to repeat themselves, often several times over a prolonged period, organizations 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 Software.

"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."

KANA Software's survey of 2,000 U.K. consumers found that during the last six months more than 1 in 10 used at least five different customer channels to contact a retailer.

"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," said Thurlow.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer service, loyalty, retail

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