96% of customers could be at risk of defecting, if you don’t deliver an outstanding Customer Experience


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FDCH00033According to new research from first direct, only 4% of customers say they would not be deterred by a bad customer experience. Of the 96% who would be deterred, 33% say that they would never interact with a brand or business again.

Excellent customer service, which is a key driver of an exceptional customer experience, is now a given or a basic expectation for 84% of customers. So, good is definitely not good enough and anything less than excellent will lead to the erosion of brand’s relationships with their customers.

What’s more, 76% said that excellent customer experience is the main factor that impact their trust in businesses that they engage with.

Good customer service needs to be immediate and responsive
With technology now providing consumers with instant gratification, respondents to the first direct survey revealed the fundamental factor of good customer service is ‘a quick response’ (69% ranked as important). Interestingly, consumers admit it’s not all about a quick resolution to an issue (66%), but simply acknowledging the problem in hand and communicating transparently throughout (42%).
With a direct and transparent route to a brand, over one in three consumers aged 18-34 (37%) say they use social media for customer service queries in the UK, with 30% relying on it as their first port of call, preferring it to phone, online chat or face-to-face interaction. These figures are lower than those published in the 2016 Microsoft State of Global Customer Service report where 52% of millennial consumers globally had actively used social media to ask customer service questions; which begs the question Is the UK lagging others in its uptake of social media as a route for customer service?

Run before you can walk with Customer Experience
The things that are of most importance to customers are not rocket science. So, whilst it is important to work on transforming the experience so that it is more memorable and develops an emotional connection with customers; more importantly it is the fundamentals that need to be in place. Optimising the existing experience based around what customers value most in a human way will prevent those customers from thinking about defecting.

graph fd Data source of customer service study:
Study conducted by Onepoll on behalf of first direct with 2,000 respondents across the UK.

first direct puts new findings to the test
What would happen if your favourite coffee shop started acting like a bank? With an automated order system producing your caffeine fix based on assumptions, there would be no chance of a tall, soya milk cappuccino with sugar free vanilla syrup and an extra shot of Guatemalan espresso!
Well, that’s exactly what happened when first direct rigged a quirky East London burger van with hidden cameras and gave hungry workers the worst service of their life. Here’s what happened…

first direct

Zoe Burns-Shore, Head of Brand and Marketing at first direct explains: 

“We’ve always been known for doing things a little differently at first direct, therefore we wanted to poke a little bit of fun at the status quo. Our award-winning knowledge of customer service means we also know what ticks our customers off – and we really pushed this to the limit with this prank, with a service they just didn’t expect.”

Get Customer Experience Execution right
It takes more to make a success of Customer Experience than implementing isolated initiatives like a customer experience management system, responsive contact centre staff, interactive technology or measuring NPS improvements. These things may seemingly allow improvements to the customer experience – but they are likely to be incremental and the customer may not even notice. Often what’s important to the customer, what they really value and importantly what’s of greatest value to the organisation, is missing. This survey sheds some light on some of the common things that are of importance to customer. They’re simple. But how well are companies delivering against these basics, consistently and systematically?

By focusing on customer value, organisations can ensure long-term customer experience optimization and transformation – not just a programme of fixing symptoms or pain points that won’t make a fundamental difference to the customer and that can’t be adopted by the business. We help clients confirm where the (actual not just perceived) value is for customers across the experience and touch points to be able to fix the basics, engage and empower employees and deliver a consistent customer experience.

Ruthless customer experience execution leads to outstanding customer experiences.

Amanda Davis

Amanda writes and shares Thought Leadership, drawing on her 15 years of coaching, guiding, mentoring and consulting for clients in various sectors and sizes around the world. She helps establish organisations understand how to connect to customers; find ways to align their expectations with the culture & capability of the organisation. She has a particular focus on customer experience transformation in the digital age, ensuring that technology development starts and finishes with the customer. Amanda has been a regular featured columnist and advisor for Customer Think since 2018.


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