Fresh research from the National Consumer Council has revealed that UK consumers are more likely to switch from suppliers that they are not happy with than they were five years ago, particularly in the area of mortgages.
The findings come from the National Consumer Council (NCC), based on new research across six markets, including gas, electricity, telephones and financial services. It reveals an overall rise of 52% in consumer switching since 2000.
Broken down into different sectors, mortgage providers are the most vulnerable to the revolving door syndrome. In the report the NCC says mortgages are the fastest rising field of consumer switching – up 158% over the period surveyed.
However, the closely related field of retail banking sits at the opposite end of the spectrum with account-switching activity up only 17%, with a mere 7% of customers switching. Across the sectors, one in four consumers are changing product suppliers to get a better deal.
In terms of population demographics the research shows that the richest and youngest are far more likely to switch as the poorest and oldest, especially when it comes to home insurance. And in some of the sectors tracked by NCC there are still major barriers to switching – with bank customers reporting the most negative switching experiences.
Commenting on the findings, NCC chief executive Ed Mayo said: We are witnessing a dramatic rise in consumer power. Customers are increasingly turning their backs on companies whose services don’t come up to scratch and changing suppliers to get what they need. That’s good news for a competitive UK economy.
But our findings are a strong warning to those companies who ignore their customers’ needs: wave goodbye to your customers. You have to earn customer loyalty, rather than assume it.