Britons braced for post-Brexit bill hike

18th May 2017

21% of Brits expect their spending levels will have to increase once the UK cuts ties with Brussels, according to new research. Amidst the fluctuating value of the Pound and ongoing reports of price hikes in consumer goods, a survey by The Institute of Customer Service 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 £14billion additional income per year for supermarkets, based on the most recent ONS household expenditure figures.

On the back of these figures, The Institute of Customer Service 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 of the bottom line.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute of Customer Service, said: “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.

“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 at 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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*Figure calculated using ONS COICOP figures for the UK, financial year ending 2016. The additional 17.3% Brits would spend on guaranteed service levels equates to an additional £9.81 per week, per household, based on a £56.80 current average spend on food and non-alcoholic drinks. This is then multiplied by 52 weeks to arrive at a yearly sum per household (£510.12), then by the 27.1 milllion households in the UK (according to latest ONS figures) in order to reach a yearly sum for the UK (£13,824,371,931.91).

The Institute of Customer Service commissioned TLF Research to speak to 2000 consumers in April 2017, following a study of 1647 consumer in September 2016. 

Notes to editors

For further information please contact:

Ellie Scott, Rebecca Peck or Bethan Davies
E: [email protected]
T: 0207 010 0831 (Ellie Scott), 020 7010 0877 (Rebecca Peck), 0207 010 851 (Bethan Davies)

About The Institute of Customer Service

The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers’ experience and their own business performance.  The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 500 organisational members – from the private, public and third sectors – and over 4,000 individual memberships.  For more information about the Institute of Customer Service go to

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