Customer loyalty in 2021: how often do we shop around with different service providers?

Topic: Customer Service

New data from Esendex shows that when it comes to customer loyalty in 2021, many customers say they don’t feel particularly loyal to any one brand. 

We asked 1,000 UK consumers to tell us when they last changed providers for their mobile phone, broadband, TV, car insurance, breakdown cover, home insurance, gas supplier, electricity supplier, banking main account and banking saving account. What we discovered was that for most services, one in ten customers have ‘made the switch’ within the last six months.

Graph showing number of people who have changed providers across different services

Generally speaking, the majority of customers are always keeping an eye out for a better experience or offer, with 9% confessing to having no brand loyalty at all. Just over half of the respondents said they ‘tend to stay with the same providers, but I am always open to switching’, compared to 36% who said they rarely, if ever, change companies. 

From our research, it appears that banks tend to hold on to clients the longest, with one in three banking customers admitting to never changing their main or savings account.

Poor customer service is one of the main reasons customers look to switch

Two-thirds of customers we surveyed said they had previously left at least one of their service providers due to a bad customer experience, with broadband, mobile phone and TV companies losing out the most. When delving into this a little bit further, you can see how the figures break down:

Graph to show percentages of customers who have changed providers due to poor customer service within the last year

We also asked participants to state how many bad experiences with a company they’d put up with before they looked to change suppliers. The answer? Just the once, according to a quarter (27%) of respondents. Only 15% said it would take more than a few occasions, saying that ‘if the product is good, I will forgive poor customer service’.

Other factors that would play a part in someone ‘making the switch’ include: 

  • The provider putting their prices up
  • Discovering a better deal elsewhere
  • Hearing good things about another company
  • Hearing negative things about their existing provider

Good customer communication can help build brand loyalty

At Esendex, we know that good customer communication is key to engagement and retention. During our survey, we also took the time to ask people how and how often their providers typically communicate with them. 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, mobile phone providers are leading the way when it comes to SMS messaging, with 30% of mobile phone users saying their service provider typically communicates with them in this way. That figure drops to less than 10% for broadband, TV, breakdown cover, home insurance and gas and electricity customers.

When it comes to frequency, our data shows that businesses (in general) are fighting for their customers’ attention via email the most, with almost one in five (18%) customers claiming to receive between five and ten emails from a business each day. That figure drops to less than 4% for SMS, highlighting a real opportunity to cut through the noise and get your messages heard. SMS also had a 10% higher open rate, when compared to email. 

The majority of customers are happy for businesses to get in touch with them once or twice a week, with the following graph showing the types of messages people are happy to receive:

Percentage of customers who are generally happy to receive the following types of comms from businesses

If you’d like to get started with building an effective customer communication strategy, please get in touch with our team on 0333 258 1722, or email where we’ll direct you to one of our expert team for your industry and requirement.

Author Avatar
Amy Robinson

Hi, I’m Amy, Senior Brand Development Manager at Esendex, with a background in digital and international marketing. I love everything to do with digital technology and improving communication between brands and their customers. I also take great pride in combining digital optimisation with user experience.