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good customer service vital to trust

Poor customer service is leading to customers taking their business elsewhere according to research from First Direct today (15.1.15.) It says customers have switched £7.7 billion of their business in the past year.

Among private sector businesses, banks, supermarkets online retailers and online market places all scored well on being easy to deal with but mobile service providers, internet providers and electricity suppliers rated less well.

Another survey today, for the Institute of Consumer Service, suggests — in an age of instant electronic media — young people have the highest expectations of businesses and want them delivered quickly.

A study for the CBI’s The Great Business Debate shows that, how business treats its customers is a key factor in building wider trust in business. Our CBI/YouGov survey data shows people ranked providing value for money (41%) and putting customers before profits (39%) among the most important influences affecting trust in business right now.

In June CBI Director-General John Cridland wrote in The Times

Businesses can only realise their full potential when they command the confidence of the public – the individuals that companies employ and the customers who buy their goods and services………………….

Putting the customer first makes clear business sense too: by providing good products, services and customer service, businesses will attract more customers through word of mouth recommendations. In the world of social media and instant feedback this is becoming even starker.” Read more here

Writing for The Great Business Debate in September Peter Vicary-Smith, Group Chief Executive of Which? told us

Standing apart from the rest requires strong leadership and a commitment to putting customers first every time. It might not insulate businesses from every external crisis, but recovery is much faster if you’ve earned trust in the first place.” – read more here.

So, do these surveys reflect your views? What’s been your experience? What more do you think businesses should be doing.

Read The Great Business Debate’s Serving Customers Factsheet

and join the debate here or on twitter @bizdebate

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