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Brits would rather clean their toilet than deal with bank customer services

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Britons would rather clean their toilets or fill out their tax returns than speak to their bank or broadband provider’s customer service team.

In a survey of 1,000 UK consumers, 29% said they would rather scrub their toilets, sit in a traffic jam on a hot sunny day or fill out their annual tax return instead of deal with their provider’s customer service team.

The respondents said that one of the top three considerations when dealing with a service provider is that they listen and understand, but 34% of banking customers polled said their provider doesn’t understand them at all. For broadband customers, this number rises to 52%.

The figures could be telling as 75% of banking customers and 69% of broadband customers cite inadequate customer service as an important reason to switch supplier.

Nearly a quarter of all consumers interviewed – 23% – said being offered an irrelevant product or service recommendation was the number one bug bear.

In contrast, 65% of service providers said they feel they know their customers and individual needs “extremely well”.

The study, conducted by market research company RedShift on behalf of Pegasystems, also tallies with the latest UK Customer Satisfaction Index which revealed that just 22% of consumers believe customer service teams listen carefully or want to understand their needs.

Out of 10,000 surveyed, just 13% felt customer service teams took responsibility in helping them.

Culture of complacency 

Jo Causon, CEO of the Institute of Customer Service, said: “The service sector is responsible for generating 78% of GDP in the UK. Service providers across all industries need to understand that providing a positive customer experience is not an optional extra and is something that should be fully embraced if this apparent culture of complacency is to be eliminated.”

Robin Collyer, marketing and decisioning specialist at Pegasystems, said: “It’s not about the customer always being right (they aren’t) – it’s about the ability of the business to balance its objectives for growth, service, retention and risk with the customers’ need for better, more timely, and more effective engagement across whichever channel they happen to be using.

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