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UK businesses not the great communicators they think they are

Businesses are missing out on sales opportunities due to poor customer communications – yet many of them are unaware of the problem, warns Twilio.

Its survey of 2,000 consumers and 850 businesses in the UK, US and Australia underlines the importance of good communications, with seven out of ten consumers saying they buy more products or services from a company after a positive communications experience. One third have cancelled a service or switched to a competitor following a negative experience.

Bridging the Communication Divide: Customer Communications Report 2017 highlights a disconnect between the customer experience and businesses’ perceptions of their own performance. While eight out of 10 consumers complain that it is difficult to communicate with businesses, only 34% of enterprises acknowledge that there is room for improvement.

Other findings provide further evidence of a disconnect:

94% of businesses claim customers are satisfied with the responsiveness of their communications, yet 96% of consumers disagree;

Companies rate the effectiveness of their phone-based communications nearly four times higher than customers do and the effectiveness of their email communications two times higher than customers;

Businesses that offer communications through a mobile app, social media or SMS rate their performance as ‘excellent’ two times more often than customers.

Nor are businesses satisfying growing demand for multi-channel communications. More than half (55%) of consumers say that communicating with a business via their preferred channel results in a positive experience, yet only 27% of businesses have adopted fully integrated omni-channel communications.

Good customer communications is vital as there appears to be a ripple effect from both good and bad experiences that might disguise their true impact.

So, while 51% of the businesses surveyed have received negative customer reviews as a result of poor communications, dissatisfied customers are more likely to tell their friends and family (66% of the time) or stop doing business with a company altogether (41%) than write a review.

Good communications also have a multiplier effect, with 67% of consumers giving more of their business to a company following a positive communication experience. Companies who deliver positive communications experiences are 2.6 times more likely to have revenue growth of 15% or more.

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2018