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UK consumers willing to pay more for better customer service, says survey

RightNow Technologies' survey suggests 84% consumers willing to pay above standard price for superio

UK consumers are will to pay more money for a better customer experience, according the new research from SaaS CRM vendor RightNow Technologies.

The results were unveiled at RightNow's 2010 EMEA User Conference at Celtic Manor, venue of the recent Ryder Cup golf tournament, in Newport, Wales.

The survey found that an overwhelming 84% of consumers said they are willing to pay over the standard price for goods or services to ensure a superior customer experience. Most (88%) would be willing to pay 5% more, 62% would push to 10% over the odds, a quarter would go to 15% and 11% of respondents said they would pay 25% or more.

Speaking at the conference, RightNow founder and CEO Greg Gianforte said that the results were an indication that a massive change is needed in the CRM space. "Most people we spoke to said they had stopped doing business with a company because of a bad experience; people are less tolerant these days. Most had also told their friends about it, but rather than the old adage of telling 10 friends, they had told their 10,000 followers on Twitter. That impacts on a business," he said.

"We've reached a point of inflection about the customer experience," Gianforte added. "You have to deliver good customer service or they will leave.

"A traditional CRM approach will speed up internal efficiencies, but that will just anger the customer even more quickly. Companies need a wider, outside in, approach."

Gianforte added that traditional CRM apps from the likes of Oracle Siebel are, "on life support, outdated. It's time to pull the plug on the legacy agent desktop. Don't accept the status quo. Nothing is more important than the customer service you deliver," Gianforte said.