But Robert Wollan, Accenture's global managing director, said that while the increase in brand switching is noteworthy, more revealing is the fact that 85% of study participants indicated that their provider could have prevented them from switching brands simply by doing something differently - whether resolving issues quickly or recognizing and rewarding them for doing more business with them.
"Everyone's fighting for growth, and this is a source of growth that companies should be mining," said Wollan
"They should be looking to grab the revenue that's slipping through their fingers."
Customers don't want to leave, said Wollan
, but are compelled to do so because companies aren't living up to their expectations.
said, can play a key role in customer retention.
"Marketing can learn a significant amount of information from sales and service functions, and in a much more agile and tailored way bring that back around," he
"Marketing is one of the more agile parts of a company and more used to providing tailored messaging.
It has an opportunity to learn more from sales and service, tailor that message up front and reset the expectations that might go awry."
With the average consumer now using between five and six channels to learn about and select providers, Wollan
said, it's a chance for companies to harvest valuable customer data that can be used to provide what he
called "tailored" experiences capable of fostering brand loyalty.
"Social media is basically the largest and most transparent focus group, without the mirror," said Wollan
"Marketing has the chance to step up and really help reset this agenda based on skills they already have in-house.
They just have to make sure it gets baked into the operation."
said that while companies are attempting to improve how they do business, there is a significant gap between what they are doing and their customers' expectations.
At the same time, many companies continue to utilize a decades-old "one size fits all" approach to customer relationships.
"Many [companies] are spending time on items that might have been expectations from two or three years ago that other competitors have already got right," he