Focus on customer service to minimise post-Brexit bill hike impact

26th May 2017

UK businesses have been encouraged to put a ‘relentless focus’ on their customer service, as 21% of Brits expect spending levels to increase post-Brexit.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, says that the uncertainty of leaving the EU means that many customers are seeking consistent customer service.

With the fluctuating value of the pound and ongoing reports of price hikes in consumer goods, a survey by The Institute shows the proportion of people expecting to spend more post-Brexit has doubled compared to just six months ago.

Despite this, consumers reported they would choose to pay an average of 17% more for outstanding customer service levels – equating to a massive £14bn additional income per year for supermarkets, based on the most recent ONS household expenditure figures.

On the back of these figures, The Institute is urging British businesses to place customers at the centre of their post-Brexit strategy. The Institute argues that it will help create secure and sustainable relationships with customers, and drive performance. 

“At a time when the customer feels like the ground is constantly moving beneath their feet, it is down to UK plc to provide much-needed consistency – and this can be done through a relentless focus on customer service,” says Causon.

“We know that an increasing proportion of people are willing to pay more for better service and these new statistics are testament to that. Customer experience will be everything in the post-Brexit economy. Our research finds that ‘recommendation from others’ and buying from ‘a trusted brand’ both remain crucial factors influencing consumer spend, meaning that businesses who invest in these areas will get the best returns, both now and when Britain formally departs from the EU.”

There are demographic differences in willingness to spend on service. Consumers from the South East would spend an average of 21% more to guarantee service levels – whereas those from the North average 15% extra spend. 18- to 34-year-olds from across the UK are also well disposed towards spending on service – willing to pay an average of 23% more. The data suggests that, for those companies looking to futureproof their company, not just post-Brexit, but beyond, a focus on service is paramount.

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