Service turns Aussie consumers off

Service turns Aussie consumers off
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Good staff can be a godsend for retailers but uninterested and snobby staff hurt bottom-lines as research shows service is more important than price for Australians.

The financial services,  utilities, telecommunications, retail, hotel and travel industry is getting the hackles of its consumers up with only one in five ‘very satisfied’ with how they are treated, according to Ipsos.

Gary Martin, Ipsos loyalty managing director, said: “While price clearly influences the decisions Australians make, it is not at the expense of their expectations of service. Just 5% of Australians agree with the statement ‘price is the only thing that matters to me – service is secondary’, and one fifth completely or somewhat agree with the statement.”

Utilities have the dubious honour of offering the worst service in Australia, the global Ipsos survey which questioned more than 1,000 Australians 16 and over, found.

Only one in 10 consumers are ‘very satisfied’ with the service provided by power, gas and water utilities. But the telecommunications industry doesn’t fare much better with two in 10 consumers dissatisfied with their telco and utilitiy provider.

Just one fifth of Aussies are ‘very satisfied’ with telcos’, retail, hotel and travel providers’ service.

“Service failures differ across providers, with some providers deliver a better

customer experience more often and consistently with fewer service failures than others. Customer service staff can also make a big difference, with Australians reporting a higher level of satisfaction when staff went out of their way to help resolve the issue,” Martin said.

For telcos the most common service issues are: taking too long to do what is asked (31%), having to chase updates (24%), account errors (25%) and unknowledgeable or rude staff (19%).

Staff issues are the biggest source of disappointment when it comes to interactions with retailers where one fifth have encountered rude and unhelpful staff.  

Globally the Ipsos study surveyed 5,816 consumers in six countries including Australia, China and India. For more on the importance of customer service see B&T's Customer Care Evolution feature here

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