Despite the increased use of new technologies intended to improve customer service, such as automated phone systems and live chat over the Internet, poor customer service is the primary reason that consumers switch service providers, according to results of a study released by Accenture.

Nearly half (49 percent) of the more than 2000 U.S. and U.K. consumers surveyed said poor service led them to change service providers in at least one industry in the past year. When asked to further explain their reasons for switching, the greatest number of these respondents (61percent) identified poor service or product quality, to get lower prices (46 percent), a service representative's lack of knowledge about a provider's services or products (39 percent), lack of customized solutions (22 percent), company policies that create bureaucracy (19 percent), and technologies that delay or stop service (19 percent). In addition, despite companies adopting technologies to help them respond more effectively to customer concerns, nearly two-thirds (62 percent) of all survey respondents said they believed that customer service had not improved significantly in the last five years.

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