Consumers quick to drop accounts if service slips

Consumers quick to drop accounts if service slips

Nearly one in two US consumers (46%) say they have cancelled an account with a credit card provider because of poor customer service, and a third have dropped other major service providers for the same reason.

In addition, 53% of consumers say automated phone systems are the most frustrating aspect of customer service, reports a new survey by Rye, New York-based EBPP vendor Mobius Management Systems.

According to the survey, poor customer service has compelled many consumers to drop accounts with banks (43%), Internet service providers (32%), phone companies (30%), and pager or cell phone vendors (22%). The Mobius survey, conducted online, quizzed 300 consumers age 18 or over.

Abby Pinard, vice president of marketing services at Mobius, comments: "At a time when customer relationships are of the utmost strategic importance for service providers and the economy is making new customer acquisition expensive and difficult, customer retention is crucial."

Half of consumers polled say they will spend no more than five minutes navigating a vendor's, biller's, or bank's Web site before picking up the phone and calling customer service.

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