Most British Consumers Don’t Complain About Poor Customer Service

Nearly 75% of British consumers who experience poor customer service don’t issue complaints with the respective companies, according to new research from uSwitch.

According to the research, 83% of respondents regularly waste time queuing or being kept on hold; 65% regularly experience poor customer service; and 59% indicated that are treated poorly.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at, said in a press release that the number of complaints received actually received by companies is just the tip of the iceberg.

“Consumers regularly receive shoddy service, but often feel unable or unwilling to complain,” Robinson said. “This is bad for consumers and bad for the companies too as, without this vital feedback, they lose the chance to listen and improve and could easily end up seeing their customers disappearing out of their door and into the arms of a rival.”

Only 27% indicated they would complain after experiencing poor customer service. And then the question becomes in what channel will they complain?

Consumers are increasingly turning to social media to vent their frustrations with poor customer service – a trend, according to the research, that is only going to increase.

And what becomes of all of those consumers who don’t complain?

Recent Forrester Consulting data shows that:

66% of customers say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good service.

45% of U.S. online adults will abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question.

75% of consumers move to another channel when online customer service fails.

Customers don’t want to wait on hold to lodge complaints, the research says. Forrester estimates that unnecessary service costs due to channel escalation are $22 million on average. Brands that have multichannel customer service strategies in place provide customers with the necessary tools to find answers to their questions online quickly and easily, and this can dramatically reduce service costs by significantly deflecting the volume on inbound calls and emails to contact centers.

But according to the research, too many companies take a reactive instead of a proactive approach to customer service – which damages the overall customer experience.

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