More than three quarters of European consumers are willing to switch businesses that fail to meet their expectations, according to a survey report published by Quadient. Retail followed by banking were ranked as the top industries that had made the most progress towards meeting customer expectations.

Nearly half of the consumers surveyed believed they have more power as against five years ago.

Majority (83%) of Europeans cited customer communication as an important factor in deciding their loyalty to the business, while 77% said that ability of businesses to protect their data served as a decisive factor in their loyalty. Only 5% of Europeans did not consider data protection as critical factor.

The study also revealed European consumers having greater appreciation of their own value and valuing the personal data share with businesses at a minimum of €151 a month. The value was found to increase to €172 per month in the Netherlands and €166 in the UK.

Local government was ranked as the sector making the least progress in meeting customer expectations by 41% of the European consumers. The same was also ranked the worst sector for using mobile apps by 53% of European consumers, while 37% ranked banking as the best sector in this area.

Quadient EMEA and APAC president Ian Clarke said: “The shift in power towards consumers is just one of the four fundamental forces businesses face as they try to offer the best possible customer experience. They must also deal with an ever-expanding volume of data; make best use of new communication channels created in the digital transition; and, however they deliver their customer experience, do so while maintaining regulatory compliance.

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“The stakes are high – those businesses that cannot understand and adapt to these forces will swiftly see themselves overtaken by the competition, and abandoned by customers.”