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A potential £1.4bn in lost sales as 38% of British consumers say they would stop using a company following poor customer service*

• 91% of British web users say customer service is important or very important when conducting transactions online
• 66% of people say being stuck in a call centre phone queue is one of the biggest frustrations about customer service
• 94% would stop using a company immediately, or proactively look for an alternative, if they received poor customer service
• Contacting a company by email is the preferred method of communication

Windsor, UK – 28th July 2009 – Call centre phone queues, not being able to find information on a company’s website and waiting for email replies are the biggest customer service frustrations amongst British consumers, according to an online survey of over 2,000 people, commissioned by nGenera CIM. In fact, UK businesses that transact online face up to £1.4bn in lost sales due to poor customer service, with 94% saying they would proactively look for a competitor or stop using a company’s website altogether. This is not surprising given that 91% of internet users say customer service is either important or very important when using the web.

The research report, released today and available to download at, highlights the importance that web users place on help being provided online. Waiting in a call centre queue was considered the biggest frustration with 66% of respondents finding this annoying, while 52% are irritated at not being able to find contact information via the company’s website. The report also uncovers the preferred methods of seeking assistance when on a website, with email topping the list (36%), followed by using the online Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section (22%). Less than one in five (19%) people opt to call the customer services team.

Not surprisingly, there were some startling differences of opinion between the 18-24 and 45+ age groups. As many as 61% of older web users would turn to email or phone for help, compared to just 44% of 18-24 year olds. The younger age range were more inclined to contact a company through online chat with just over a fifth saying this was their preferred method, and 22% trying the website’s FAQs. Older website visitors prefer more traditional contact methods, with only 10% of the over 55s turning to chat and 46% choosing to send a company an email, compared to 30% of 18-24 year olds.

Matthew Haines, European Managing Director of nGenera CIM, comments: “It is clear from the research that the customer service landscape is changing. Online channels such as email, web self-service and live chats are quickly overtaking phone as the preferred contact method for UK consumers. This provides an opportunity for companies to deliver fast and effective online customer service, which can be a key differentiator and deliver huge benefits. By establishing these channels, businesses can reduce strain on the call centre, increase agent productivity, reduce costs and ensure consistency and accuracy of messages.

“The younger, internet-savvy generation are very comfortable using new technologies such as live chat and demand rapid, accurate customer service. They are leading a new evolution of customer service, driving communication online, and providing companies with the opportunity to streamline their call centre operations and effectively meet the high levels of service their customers are demanding.”

A full report detailing the survey results, market trends and best practice advice, is available to download from today at

*Working was calculated using the IMRG latest estimate retail spend in 2008 - £43.8bn (

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For more information, please contact:

Danny Whatmough
Wildfire PR
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8339 4420


All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2011 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 10th - 12th June 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

About nGenera Customer Interaction Management

nGenera Customer Interaction Management is the global leader in next generation customer experience solutions. Customers report increased customer satisfaction and measureable cost savings within six months of deployment. With 250% customer growth over three years, more companies trust their customer experiences to nGenera Customer Interaction Management. Customers include Canon, Dell, eBay, Epson, Ford, Microsoft, P&O Ferries, Sky Bet, Siemens, Sony, and Sprint. For more information, visit

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Wildfire in the following categories: Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit