BRITISH firms are among the worst in the world at providing good customer service, says a survey by a Huddersfield company.
The poll by Taylor Hill-based customer satisfaction research specialist The Leadership Factor showed that 70% of 2,000 respondents accused UK firms of failing to reward customer loyalty.
And almost half said UK companies had the worst approach to customer service among major world economies.
The poll showed that 49% of people thought they were treated more poorly by UK firms than customers in Japan, the USA and France.
More than three-quarters of those polled thought senior managers in UK companies were more obsessed with the latest management fad than what customers think.
Large firms were considered to be the worst for customer service – with 91% of people polled believing that “making money” was the most important consideration for such businesses.
Asked about specific sectors, 53% of people thought that public transport operators were bad at understanding customer needs while 47% thought they were the worst at rewarding customer loyalty.
Nigel Hill, managing director at The Leadership Factor, said: “Our findings shed light on how unhappy we are as a nation with how companies treat us. It appears that the UK could be doing much better in terms of understanding customer needs and rewarding their loyalty.
“From our experience, customers are often not valued until they are lost, but implementing a rigorous and comprehensive approach to improving customer satisfaction will help companies increase their customer retention rates and further drive growth through positive word of mouth.”
Said Mr Hill: “A common misunderstanding is that improving customer satisfaction is too costly to consider, but the opposite is true.
“With our survey revealing such wide-ranging dissatisfaction from customers across the UK, companies need to do all they can to retain existing customers before they start to look elsewhere.”
The Leadership Factor was founded in 1996 by director Nigel Hill, who has worked in the industry for over 20 years. It now has offices in the USA, Australia, France, Spain, Portugal, Ukraine and Japan.
The company provides training on customer satisfaction measurement and improvement and conducts more than 300 satisfaction and loyalty studies every year for clients including Manchester United, Churchill, Royal Bank of Scotland, VISA and the Bank of New York.