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New survey from Shape the Future shows that 70% of UK businesses are not monitoring customer satisfaction effectively

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The latest research from Shape the Future suggests that three quarters of UK businesses are confident about their futures – and have no idea what their customers really think…

30th October 2008: Market research company Shape the Future has just completed a survey into the customer satisfaction measurement strategies of UK companies. The statistics show that while 70.3 percent claim to measure customer satisfaction most are only employing very basic and informal tactics, such as relying solely on unsolicited customer feedback. Worryingly, the remaining 29.7 percent cited reasons for not measuring customer satisfaction as:

• Belief that customers would tell them if there were problems (69.4 percent)
• Never thought about it (20.2 percent)
• Too busy (19.0 percent)
• …And only 22.6 percent (almost 10 percent of the total sample) planned to measure customer satisfaction in the future

Businesses that rely on unsolicited customer feedback are not getting the information they need. Of those that do measure customer satisfaction, 55.7 percent are only employing the most basic and informal techniques or are waiting for clients to complain. This means that in reality only about a third of businesses (36.1 percent) are really bothering to find out what their customers think, while well over half (56.3 percent) are waiting for their customers to tell them. Previous research by Shape the Future indicates that the majority of clients are very unlikely to volunteer this information – they are much more likely just to go to a competitor.

Peter Martin, managing director at Shape the Future said: “What’s interesting about the results is that too many businesses assume that people will give them useful feedback. In reality, unhappy customers often leave without telling them why. Falling sales are not always related to falling demand. Companies may simply be losing market share to their competitors and not even know about it. Given the current economic downturn, business owners and managers need as much detail and business information ammunition to hand as possible.”

Among the companies which do not measure customer satisfaction at all, the main reasons given were:

Our customers tell us if they’re not happy: 69.4%
We don’t know how to do it: 14.9%
We are too busy: 19.0%
Our business is booming so we think our customers are happy: 7.0%
It’s too expensive: 5.4%

Measuring satisfaction and complacency:

It has never been so important to find out what your customers want

The research also indicated that the larger the company, the more likely it is that customer satisfaction will be measured formally. Among companies of 50 employees or fewer (which make up 99% of the UK business community), 57.6 percent are not measuring customer satisfaction by any formal means.

It is generally recognised that acquiring new customers costs between four-to-six times more than keeping existing clients happy. It makes sound business sense to spend a fraction of this to help ensure your current clients stay just that - current.


Notes for editor:

About the Shape the Future survey

• Conducted between 23 September and 4 October 2008
• Sample of 1,492 businesses across the UK
• The survey was conducted online using Shape the Future’s proprietary software and systems
• For a copy of the full research report click here

About Shape the Future

Established in 2005, Shape the Future is a full service research company that delivers insight to businesses across the UK and overseas. Clients include businesses from start ups to established blue chip; business to business and consumer companies, as well as government and educational organisations.

It specialises in high speed research and as well as bespoke surveys, its instant online surveys will let you find out why you’re not winning more business, how to make your website more effective, how to spend your marketing budget more effectively or what your customers really think. Click here for more information.

Editorial contact:

Georgina Firth, Brainstormhour
For more info contact Or call 07778 241 333