Accenture: Customer Service Up, Loyalty Down

Two out of three consumers switched companies in 2011—including wireless phone, cable and utilities—as a result of poor customer service, even though they gave higher marks for service, according to the findings of a recent Accenture survey.

The survey findings, which include the fact that switching rose in eight out of 10 industries and loyalty programs do not wield big influence, pose new challenges for marketers as they focus on building customer loyalty and improving market share in a very competitive business environment.

The Accenture Global Consumer Survey asked consumers in 27 countries to evaluate 10 industries on issues ranging from service expectations and purchasing intentions to loyalty, satisfaction and switching.

More than 10,000 consumers responded to the survey. Perhaps not surprisingly, wireless phone, cable and gas/electric utilities providers each experienced the biggest increase in consumer switching. However, consumer satisfaction with their providers’ customer service actually increased in 2011 in 10 attributes measured by the survey.

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