Wednesday 7 October 2015 5:42 pm

Bad customer experience is costing mobile operators £1.6bn

Bad customer experience is costing UK mobile operators as much as £1.6bn, as nearly half of Britons have suffered a bad experience with their phone company.

If you’ve ever been spitting mad at your phone company, you’re far from alone. Some one in 10 Britons have had a customer experience bad enough it made them leave the operator, new research shows.

And what’s worse – operators don’t even handle customer complaints right. According to a recent Ofcom study, what upsets us most about phone operators is (unsurprisingly) the price. Ironically, though, the second-most complained about area is the way companies handle customer complaints.

Vodafone was the most complained about company, followed by EE.

And this isn’t without consequence, as poor customer service could be costing these companies dearly in lost revenues. Millions of dissatisfied customers changing phone operators cost companies £1.6bn, according to the research by customer engagement company Thunderhead, based on customers spending an average of £371 per year.

Glen Manchester, chief executive of Thunderhead, said operators need to put customers “back at the centre of their business”:

By failing to properly understand where customers are in their journey and how they want companies to communicate with them, mobile operators are pushing their customers out the door, and waving goodbye to perfectly good revenue as they do so

Worse still, a £1.6bn revenue loss could just be the tip of the iceberg, as the research suggest we’re likely to spread a bad experience of a company to as many as 18 people.