Report Highlights What Turns Customers off Brands

February 27, 20194min

Bad customer service caused UK customers to stop using a product or service 3.6 times in the last year, a new report has revealed.

Based on a global survey of 2,000 customer-facing employees by CITE Research, including 500 in the UK, the report – titled Overcoming the Digital Disconnect: How Disjointed Communications Technologies Are Letting Customers Down – and How to Solve it – reveals that disjointed communications technologies not only harm employee productivity and morale, but also negatively impact customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

Other findings of the report include:

  • Generation Z and Millennials cut ties at a greater rate – more than five times in the last year. Men leave brands at a much higher rate than women (approximately five times versus three times).
  • Eighty-nine percent of UK customers hate having to repeat themselves when interacting through multiple channels.
  • Forty-six percent of UK customers said they have cut ties with a brand after having to repeat themselves over and over again as they are passed from agent to agent.
  • Seventy-two percent would rather do household chores than communicate with an ineffective chatbot.

In addition, complex workflows and ineffective communications technologies frustrate customer-facing employees, hurting their professional and personal relationships, ability to serve customers, and ultimately, the bottom line. In fact, not only do 77 percent of employees put customers through longer-than-needed service times thanks to ineffective technology, but half of respondents admitted that their frustration with communications technologies causes them to be rude to their family and friends.

Sahil Rekhi, Managing Director at RingCentral EMEA, said: “We all know that customers today want to communicate with brands across any channel, anytime, anywhere. But these expectations are simply not being met. As the data shows, customers will stop using a brand because of a bad experience.

“If businesses want to deliver the best possible experience, they need to arm their employees with the right communications solutions to do so – not only will this deliver the experience that customers crave, but it will ultimately result in boosting employee productivity and business profitability.”

The research underlines that employee and customer engagement are closely linked. Ninety-one percent of the global employees surveyed believe a platform that lets them seamlessly navigate between all the ways they communicate and collaborate would make customers happier. This, in turn, would make employees happier. Additionally, 81 percent of UK employees say they would stay longer with a company if it used such a communications platform.

Additional findings reveal that:

  • The UK is more likely to use phone (79 percent) to provide customer service support
  • Ninety-four percent of UK employees think video conferencing is effective, but it is only being used today by 31 percent as a customer service tool
  • Similarly, 93 percent of UK employees think team messaging is effective, yet it is only being used by 21 percent as a customer service tool
  • Customer-facing employees are interested in using AI to surface the right customer data (86 percent) and quickly serve the right resources for customers (86 percent)
  • AI is commonly used in customer communications to train and increase the performance of support teams (31 percent)

Paul Ainsworth

Paul Ainsworth

Experienced Irish journalist and former newspaper editor now helming executive editorial duties with Customer Experience Magazine, the UK's premier online source for Customer Experience news, features, and opinion, along with its sister site, CXM World.

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