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February 29, 2022

Two-thirds of consumers switched providers in the past year: study

If you're still with the same wireless provider or bank that you were last year, you’re among a minority of users. And if you actually feel any real loyalty to those providers, then you’re part of an even smaller group.

“Only an average of one in four consumers feels ‘very loyal’ to his or her providers across industries, and just as many profess no loyalty at all," according to the Accenture 2011 Global Consumer Research Study.

"Furthermore, two-thirds of consumers switched providers in at least one industry in the past year due to poor customer service.”

When asked what frustrates them most, the most common response from consumers is “having the company deliver something different than what they promise upfront.”

This frustration was the most frequently-selected issue regarding companies’ sales and marketing practices as well as companies’ customer service practices (65% and 64% of consumers, respectively, find it “extremely frustrating”).

Among the major disconnects that Accenture documents: 

  • "Nice to meet you." Companies are missing the chance to set expectations at the onset of a customer relationship, especially to ensure that the promise made by marketing is delivered later by customer service.

  • "You don’t know me anymore." Providers are not noticing more subtle changes that matter in customers’ need for recognition, reward and special treatment.

  • "Cheating heart." Companies are overlooking signs customers are itching to switch.

  • "Are you listening?" Organizations are failing to offer consumers opportunities to engage with them, including through digital channels—just as social media are changing many of the rules.

  • "Trinkets won’t save me." Companies are relying on point solutions to satisfy and keep customers—while customer expectations are increasing.

Are you a satisfied and loyal customer? No? What's your biggest beef and what have you done about it?

By Gordon Powers, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...