Survey slams customer service

Too many of Britain’s companies are putting profits before the needs of their customers, according to a survey by the Marketing Society.

Too many of Britain’s companies are putting profits before the

needs of their customers, according to a survey by the Marketing

Society.



Only 20 to 40 per cent of company boards regularly discuss marketing

measures relating to customers while profits are on the agenda at almost

every board meeting, the survey reveals.



The results of the poll, among nearly 100 chief executives, managing

directors and senior marketers, were released to coincide with this

week’s Marketing Society annual conference.



It brought a warning from Stephen Robertson, the conference chairman and

B&Q marketing director, that companies are not listening hard enough to

customers’ views and are failing to give their marketers sufficient

boardroom clout.



’This places far too heavy an emphasis on financial measurement alone,

given that customer attitudes and beliefs are the ultimate drivers of

profit,’ he said.



Forty-three per cent of companies questioned admitted that none of their

directors - excluding marketing and sales directors - were required to

meet their customers regularly, while 60 per cent acknowledged that

service levels in US companies were higher than in the UK.



Meanwhile, three of Brit-ain’s biggest advertisers - BT, Barclays and

the Halifax - got a telling-off at the conference by Christine Walker,

the Walker Media managing partner, over their relationship

marketing.



She accused them of not understanding the idiosyncrasies and

individuality of customers like her. ’Your challenge is to pick up the

signals and signs I give out.



’We are often over-focused on new technology and fail to pick up signs

more rooted in social change.’



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