18 January 2001
Companies in the UK are more likely to ditch a supplier because of sloppy customer service than because of high prices, according to a survey commissioned by the Royal Mail.
More than half of the 271 companies surveyed had axed suppliers because of poor service, whereas just over 10 per cent had done so because of price. The main complaints included bad grammar and spelling, persistently getting names and titles wrong, wearing casual clothes, being late for meetings and missing tender deadlines.
"This shows how important it is to make the right impression, not just at the start but throughout the relationship," said Tony Boyle, Royal Mail's national manager of marketing and sales.
Kim Durling, administration manager at facilities management firm Europa, agreed. "I once terminated a fleet management contract because the customer service manager repeatedly addressed me as Mrs Durling in correspondence, even though he had met me and knew I was male. It made me think he didn't care about my business."
But suppliers are their own worst enemy. More than 10 per cent said that they found it hard to be enthusiastic with long-standing clients.