Poor communication is the number one reason why businesses lose customers, as more than half of consumers would never use a company again due to bad experiences, according to new research by ContactEngine.

In a poll of more than 7,000 consumers worldwide, carried out by YouGov, 56% of people said would choose not to use business services again if they had a bad experience.

Of these bad experiences, the top five mistakes made by businesses all point to poor communications, including:

  1. Rude and incompetent staff.
  2. Having to repeat queries after being passed between different people or departments.
  3. Being told to expected delivery on a specific day, only for it not to arrive.
  4. Not acknowledging customer complaints
  5. Persistently communicating with consumers even though they “opted out”

Dr. Mark K. Smith, CEO of ContactEngine, said: “All of the above concerns can be traced to out-dated and inefficient communication systems. Companies need a single ‘view’ of each customer and can then communicate with one voice, giving the customer the best experience possible.”

In the US, an alarming 59% of consumer stated that they get most annoyed at a company after dealing with rude staff members. This figure proves that many businesses are underestimating the importance of effective and polite communication with their customers.

With rising housing and utility costs cutting into disposable income, retaining customers is crucial for most B2C businesses currently.

Dr. Smith added: “This research provides fascinating insight into the common mistakes that many businesses are making. With the advances in technology and social media, consumers are more empowered than ever, and as a result have very little patience for poor communication from companies.

“Organisations need to realise that how they engage with customers goes beyond performing the service – communication before, during and after the sale is crucial when providing a pleasant customer journey and minimising the risk of losing customers.”