Research announced by Accenture yesterday has found that consumers are more likely to be turning their backs on stores, banks and energy companies due to inferior customer service rather than price. Recent research by customer contact software supplier Aspect into the attitudes of consumers towards their financial services providers supports Accenture’s findings.

Aspect’s research found that the standard of customer service is the highest influencing factor for almost four in ten (38 per cent) consumers when choosing a bank. Price came in second with a quarter (25 per cent) of people.

Mark King, Senior VP Northern Europe & Africa at Aspect says: “Consumers regard customer service to be a more important influencing factor when choosing a bank rather than a retailer or insurer. This is due to the tendency that consumers have a closer and more personal relationship with their bank, making them more loyal and less likely to switch to a competitor like they may do with an insurer or retailer. However, aggregators such as MoneySupermarket.com, which offer price comparisons, are making it easier for consumers to make the switch.”

The research from Accenture found that more than a fifth of shoppers had swapped their regular retailer for a rival in the past twelve months and 14 per cent had swapped banks. In a similar study, Aspect’s research asked UK consumers how satisfied they were with the customer service from their banks and insurers. Almost half (48 per cent) claimed to be dissatisfied with their banks, with 43 per cent having considered switching. Of these, 8 per cent actually moved banks.

Aspect also discovered that poor customer service from banks and insurers affects cross-selling and upselling opportunities, resulting in loss of customers.

King continues: “When consumers were irritated with banks, these irritations originate from the contact centre. However despite misgivings in some areas for banks and insurers, this was more likely to affect insurers in customers switching providers. Firms need to adopt more efficient technologies, processes and training in order to improve customer service. Whilst many firms already embrace these measures, further progressions must be made to improve customer loyalty.”

About Aspect

Aspect builds customer relationships through a combination of customer contact software and Microsoft platform solutions. For more information, visit www.aspect.com.

Follow Aspect on Twitter at @AspectUC. Read our blogs at http://blogs.aspect.com.

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