Mobile Retailers Failing on Customer Service

Only 2 per cent of customers believe that mobile phone and other telecom companies deliver good customer service. That’s the conclusion of a recent poll of 5,712 UK shoppers carried out by Retail Eyes, which specialises in customer experience improvement programmes.

Hotels topped the list on 27 per cent, followed by restaurants (22 per cent), department stores (11 per cent), and supermarkets (10 per cent). Only petrol stations finished below telcos (on 0.8 per cent), which, based on my own experience of filling up recently, seems a bit harsh.

With retail sales figures indicating a slow economic recovery in August and a fall in spending, the company says that its 2010 National Customer Satisfaction survey results highlight the need for telcos to do more if they’re to survive today’s competitive climate and prepare for the affects of the VAT rise in the New Year.

92 per cent of respondents said that they had left an establishment before making a purchase after receiving poor customer service, which is 36 per cent higher than Retail Eyes’ 2009 survey. 74 per cent said that they would be prepared to pay more for a product if it meant they received a better service. Despite the growth in online shopping, 72 per cent of respondents said they still believe the best service is given in store, while 47 per cent said that they tend to browse online, and then make a purchase in store.

“Our survey has highlighted that there’s a real opportunity for the telecoms industry to stand out from the crowd and use customer experience as a genuine point of difference to improve customer loyalty and repeat business,” says Retail Eyes CEO, Tim Ogle. “With the looming VAT rise, consumers are continuing to be more considered in their purchasing decisions, and businesses need to look at how every aspect of their business can deliver value to their customers. Customer service is going to be vital to survive.”